Geoffrey Burbidge says that Hoyle "certainly solved the problem of the origin of the elements." As he recalls it, however, B2FH "was very much a collaboration." Hoyle, he says, was not the type to leave something important out of a paper just because editing it was a little time-consuming.
One thing everybody agrees on is that Hoyle was shortchanged in 1983, when Fowler shared the Nobel Prize in Physics (with Subramanyan Chandrasekhar) for his work on nucleosynthesis. Clayton says the Nobel Committee's decision probably had more to do with Hoyle's rejection of scientific orthodoxy than any missing equation.
"Fred marginalized himself," Clayton says. "He made himself look like a sorehead who only cared about the steady state universe and life from outer space. … He made himself look foolish."