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 Sarah Blakemore

I first met Jon in 1997 when I was doing my PhD in Queen Square. I vividly remember the first talk I heard him give – the same memorable talk about neglect that Bob Turner mentions below. Back then I was a bit awe-struck, having just done a degree in psychology in which I studied Jon’s seminal studies on attention. But it soon became clear that Jon was oblivious to hierarchy, and interested in people, ideas and discussion, no matter what stage of career the person was at. After a post-doc in France, I moved back to UCL in 2003 and, around the same time, Jon became Director of the ICN and he and Uta Frith invited me to become a group leader in their department. What was clear from the day I started working at the ICN was that I had Jon’s complete and utter support, and he went well beyond the call of duty, giving me enormous amounts of help with grant applications, promotions, and nominating me for early career prizes. I couldn't really believe my luck! It was truly amazing to know that I had the full support and encouragement of this very important and brilliant person, and I think this really helped my career at a critical stage. Jon seemed to thrive on giving this kind of support to so many people, and his generosity in this respect was inspiring.

Jon always seemed to be a "people person". Although he perhaps wasn't as extrovert as some, he seemed very comfortable with people, no matter how famous (or not) they were, or what stage of their career they were at. As well as work, the politics of science, UCL bureaucracy, grants and so on, we often talked about our children, Crouch End (where we both lived at the same time for a few years), fishing (his interest, not mine, but apparently I now live in the fishing capital of England). His dry sense of humour always made me laugh. I have to admit that I did slightly dread his questions when I gave talks or project presentations - the glint in his eye, leaning back in his chair, and the smile after some cutting (and somewhat mumbled) comment that pointed out a major flaw in my experimental design or something. I have had many long emails from Jon explaining to me exactly what he meant about why my design, or data interpretation, was not optimal. But I will always remember the kind and special emails that Jon sent after the birth of my sons – so full of warmth and genuine happiness. I will really miss Jon, and my thoughts are with Nilli and their sons, of whom he was so utterly proud.