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

1 December 2011

from Jon Simons

Jon was obviously both an exceptional scientist and an inspirational research leader, but the main influence he had on me was more personal. I got to know him when I was the postdoc representative on the ICN group leaders' committee during the early part of his Directorship, sometime around 2004. We spent quite a bit of time together on an in-depth consultation of the junior research staff at the ICN. Jon was very keen to find out what these individuals, who in many departments can feel rather undervalued and ignored, thought and felt about the way the place was run. He worked hard and spent considerable time finding ways to encourage the researchers to disclose the issues that bothered them, and then took steps to address each of the concerns raised. When I asked him why he was spending so much time on this, he made a point that was very interesting to me. He said that he believed everyone had the potential for greatness in them, if they were only challenged hard enough and then made to feel they had all the support and resources necessary to achieve. Given that, as Director, he would only ever benefit very indirectly from work that might be done by a postdoc in a research group other than his own, I was very struck by his determination on this issue. I also know that when, some time after our consultation initiative, junior researchers went to Jon with academic issues or personal difficulties, he typically gave them considerable time and support in helping them resolve their concerns. Thus, it's both his great science and his intellectual generosity that I'll remember him for.