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

13 December 2011

from Stephen Monsell

I first met Jon when he came to be interviewed in Cambridge for a possible PhD place at the MRC-APU (as it then was). Ol Braddick and I sat in on the interview for the university Experimental Psychology Department: we were trying to avoid interviewing the same applicants twice. Faced with this epitome of cool youth,  with dyed blond hair, an earring, the famous leather jacket and, one suspected, a recording contract in his pocket,  my APU colleagues began the interview quite confrontationally: What, they wanted to know, did he propose to contribute to psychological science?  The standard PhD applicant tells you, haltingly, what they have been doing for their undergraduate research project, and says they want to do more of it.  Jon calmly responded that he had a few ideas, and proceeded to sketch, in his quiet incisive way, about five distinct novel well-articulated lines of research, any one of which would have made a great PhD project. I will not say that our colleagues ended up on their knees in postures of supplication, but they were clearly very keen that he should come to the APU. As it turned out he chose to stay in Oxford for his PhD, with Alan Allport: the rest is history.

Eventually, of course, we succeeded in attracting Jon to Cambridge for a lectureship in Experimental Psychology. He was a great colleague, performing his teaching and admin duties with enthusiasm and sanity while continuing to build his remarkable research portfolio, and supervising the first of his PhD students. In the summer of 1998, he and I co-organised an Attention and Performances symposium  (the eighteenth, at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, on Control of Cognitive Processes), attended also by his new baby  (who appears in the conference photo posted) and his parents, the latter to help look after the former while Jon and Nilli participated in the sessions. Co-writing with Jon the introductory chapter, in which we struggled to capture the current state of play in,  and desirable directions for research on, attentional and intentional control, whilst giving due mention and integrative spin to the 31 contributions  to the edited volume, was among my most agreeable co-authorships.

At a previous Attention and Performance, in Kyoto in 1994, I recall Jon walking with John Duncan around the lake on which the famous Golden Pavilion stands. So immersed were they in discussion of the mysteries of attention that after two circumnavigations they still had not  (they claimed) consciously seen the temple (hard to miss -- see photos of Jon in Kyoto) -- a tribute to the power of attentional selection, whose workings Jon's wonderful experiments and laser-beam intellect did so much to illuminate. 

What a loss – to his scientific community of course,  but how much more to his family.