Jon Driver died suddenly on 28th November 2011. Jon was a wonderful individual; a loving son, husband, father and brother; and an irreplaceable friend and colleague.

This is a place for everyone who knew Jon to share our memories of him and through this to help celebrate his life.

If you would like to add a description of your memories of Jon to this blog please contact with the text you would like posted. We welcome any contribution, from short snippets to longer pieces. Please bear in mind this is a place to remember Jon and to help celebrate his life.

As well as this blog, there is also a photograph album to which friends and colleagues are most welcome to contribute. If you would like to add one or more pictures please email it/them to

3 December 2011

from John Duncan

Everybody who knew Jon knew the stunning, sometimes unsettling speed of his turbocharged mind.  I wonder how many other collaborators, like me, found themselves a little reluctant to email an idea for an experiment, knowing that within 5 minutes would come back a reply with all the problems of the original idea, a few more ideas that were a good bit better, and some extra theoretical development as an afterthought.  What I also learned through working with Jon, though, was that he deserved his successes not just for the clarity of conception that went into the experiments, but for the painstaking insistence on making everything as perfect as it could be.  Long after I was saying “let’s run the experiment and see what the data look like”, Jon was still spitting, polishing, spitting, polishing…

For me, sharing Jon’s initials, early academic history (Oxford, Oregon, Cambridge) and research interests, his presence was always a valuable and sometimes comical lesson in humility.  There have been many examples over the years, but here are two.  An early committee meeting at the APU in Cambridge, wondering whether we can make a sufficiently strong offer to tempt Jon into joining us instead of the University.  A member asks whether there is really too much overlap between Jon’s research and mine, and never able to resist the search for a laugh, I offer to resign to make way for him.  There follows a slightly uneasy silence as I can tell my colleagues are thinking, “Really not such a bad idea….”  Or – crammed with a group of neuroscientists in the back of a minibus speeding through the hot Marrakesh night, the young woman next to me starts to tell me how much she has always admired my work.  The brilliant experiments on object structure and neglect… the exposition of cross-modal attentional integration…her enthusiasm turned gradually to silence as we both realized who it really was that she was talking about.  She was mortified, but I took it as a compliment - Jon was a person you just had to admire and try all you could to keep up with while the fireworks exploded around you.  For me, he was the sort of scientist who makes it all worthwhile; like so many others, I am terribly sad to have lost him.