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

4 December 2011

from Klaartje Heinen

I have worked with Jon for 3 years now and I was hoping to work with him for a considerable amount of time longer.

Discussing science with him, I didn’t always find easy. His pace of thinking and decision making would often leave me a bit bewildered. After a whirlwind of thoughts or comments he would pause and look at me to ask whether I agreed with him. Often all I could say was ‘I don’t know Jon I’ll have to think about this a bit longer’. As soon as I realised that he respected this and that I would always also find my own thoughts back in his summarizing emails, I became much more comfortable. I actually started to grow really fond of our one-to-one meetings in his office and even the slight awkwardness of our interactions, which I think amused us both.

I got to know him best during our few trips to meet our European partners. I was a bit surprised when upon arrival of our first trip to Barcelona, he suddenly told me that he relied on me to find our way around town as he admitted that his spatial awareness was very poor. His reaction to my response that in that case he was probably in the worst company (first alarm and then smiling about the irony of our joint interest in spatial attention), made me realise his sense of humour and that he was not only the serious, highly esteemed and brilliant scientist I had known so far. During those trips, I remember, we also talked about why he’d  enjoyed growing up in Hull (because of its quirky underground music scene), his love for Northern Soul music and Dorset (one of his favourite places in England) and his family. It was also during these European meetings that I became aware of his diplomatic skills and higher ideals in science. I was impressed how he was able to turn the noses of a whole group of successful but inherently stubborn scientists in the same direction.

It is remarkable for a man who was quite introverted and not always that easy to communicate with, how clear it was to everyone what his true nature really was. He was kind, extremely loyal, supportive and interested in people.  He was so generous in giving people opportunities to develop and I feel very grateful for my stroke of luck to be one of them.  The influence of his mentoring on my thinking has been absolutely invaluable and I’m sure I will realise that only more in the years to come. It makes me so sad there won’t be any new projects to discuss with him as in many ways I had the feeling that the best of our joint work was only still to come.

I will miss him very very dearly.

And considering how bereft we all feel, I cannot begin to think how the ones who were really close to him must be feeling right now: Nilli, his sons, his parents and sisters. I wish them all the possible strength and support in these incredibly sad times.