Feb 20 2023

In memory of Jennifer Kohler (1990-2022)


We are sad to announce the death of Jennifer Kohler, who was a committed and vibrant member of the Department of Economic History and will be hugely missed by us all.

Jennifer completed her master’s degree in the Department and continued into our PhD Programme as one of the brightest and most capable students we are proud to have had here.

Her focus was on African Economic History, Colonial History, Social Capital and the Economic History of Women’s Empowerment. Her thesis was on Culture and Institutions in African Economic History.

Jennifer taught our undergraduate students as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and will be remembered as an innovative and exceptional teacher. Her students found her engaging, inspirational and hugely supportive.

As a colleague and friend, Jennifer was kind, funny and thoughtful. She was wonderful company and will be greatly missed by us all.

If you would like to leave condolences, a memory or comment, please do so below.

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Feb 9 2023

In memory of Alan Mears

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We are sad to announce the death of Alan Mears, a former colleague and friend in LSE’s Catering Department.

Alan passed away on Tuesday 27 December in Mountbatten hospice on the Isle of Wight with his family present after a long period of ill health and Parkinson’s.

Alan was the Chef Manager at Rosebery Hall from 14 August 2004 – 31 December 2017.

Despite his illness, Alan continued to manage the running of the second largest catered hall with great humour and aptitude, and we were sad that he had to take early retirement.

The Catering Department have very fond memories of Alan and our deepest sympathies are with his family.

A donation page has been set up by his family for Parkinson’s UK and Mountbatten Isle of Wight.

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Dec 7 2022

In memory of Colm O’Sullivan (1968-2022)


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Colm O’Sullivan, Support Officer in Data and Technology Services (DTS), who has been a part of our LSE community for the past seven years.

Chief Information Officer Laura Dawson and Service Line Manager Adam Gale share their reflections, and messages of support from fellow DTS colleagues and our School community, below.

Last week, we had the sad news that our colleague and friend Colm O’Sullivan passed away after a long battle with leukaemia.

Laura Dawson shared:  “Colm was the first person in DTS (Information Management and Technology or IMT as it was then called) to provide me with desk-side support when I first arrived. He was always calm, with dry sense of humour and a passion for travel. He was much loved by colleagues and his understated and caring approach was a hit across our School.

“Colm was someone who just got on with his job quietly and confidently but the great thing about him is he really cared about people both from the point of view of helping them with technology but also in ensuring their time at LSE was as good as it could be. He was a staunch advocate for workers rights and often would quietly but effectively challenge the status quo to the benefit of everyone in the team and leadership.”

After hearing about Colm’s passing, we received messages of support and remembrance of our brilliant colleague from across our School:

“Colm was incredibly helpful, competent, and a pleasure to work with. He had helped me many times over the years, always friendly, professional, and proactive in his approach.

“A great colleague who always worked hard to find a solution to a problem.”

“Colm always made time to have a chat, he was always happy to see you and was curious and optimistic. It was always a positive encounter.”

“He was such a friendly face. He’s another colleague who I don’t think I would ever walk past him without a smile at the very minimum, and most often we would have a friendly chat. He was such an easy-going sort of fellow, and so friendly on both a personal and professional level. I’m so sorry I didn’t know he was unwell. I looked back at our messages when I heard the news and one of those, I sent him was 2 years ago to thank him for sponsoring me for one of my runs, and he was very gracious about it. He was a hidden treasure in our department, and will be very much missed. Thinking of his family at this awful time. We are very lucky we also had Colm in our lives, however brief by comparison.”

“Colm always took the time necessary to make sure I was up and running, always polite, always helpful, always considerate of my capabilities. A true gent and champion for DTS.”

Adam Gale added: “Colm joined LSE In August 2015. I can remember his interview well. He shone as a candidate, both in the formal interview and in our scenario support test we carried out at the time. With his naturally calm and quiet approach, he stood out as the best candidate.

“He soon established himself as a member of the team – which is always daunting, especially when joining a long-established group of colleagues. It didn’t take long for him to join in with the regular team banter.”

In addition to the team, Colm was well loved and respected amongst colleagues in the rest of the division and the LSE family in general. His collegiality in the workplace was recognised as part of a divisional awards nomination where a colleague submitted the following supporting statement:

“Colm clearly takes his role here seriously and has no qualms about taking ownership of his workload, but also full accountability should anything need further attention. He is courteous, professional, and always willing to help me when he can, even when the workload here is very stretched and staff levels are particularly low. Colm is approachable, fair, and equitable, and a great asset to the team – intelligent, and fun to be with. I enjoy his company and find him easy to work with.”

Adam continued: “As his line manager, I agreed wholeheartedly with this nomination at the time, and throughout the time we worked together. His calm approach and gentle mannerism, along with his knowledge and experience were the perfect mix. I also received regular positive feedback from colleagues across LSE thanking him for his support and guidance.

“Colm was well travelled and loved to talk about his many trips he had made. He often stored his leave up to enable him to make some of those longer distance trips to the other side of the globe. He also used to enjoy his shorter European trips, and of course his visits back home to Cork. I know from our conversations in the past months that he was so very keen to travel again, or at least visit friends and family back home.

“In more recent months, I have had the privilege of talking with Colm on a regular basis, keeping him abreast of the various news and stories from around campus and DTS, as well as hearing from him how he is getting on. From the time he first let me know of his diagnosis to the last time he spoke, he was determined to overcome his illness and get back to work and his travelling. We’ve also been keeping each other amused by sharing various jokes and comical videos throughout. Alas, we didn’t manage to meet up for the coffee or lunch we had hoped, nor the beer or three we had been looking forward to.”

On behalf of DTS and LSE we are deeply saddened by Colm’s passing. He truly fought his illness and we will miss him so much.

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Nov 14 2022

In memory of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022)

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It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who had a long-standing and wide-ranging association with LSE spanning over 50 years.

Sir Evelyn was an Emeritus Governor of LSE, having served as a member of the School’s Court of Governors between 1968 and 2010. He was also an Advisory Board Member for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and a member of the Committee for the £100 million Campaign for LSE, which ran between 1997 and 2007.

As Chairman of the Eranda Rothschild Foundation, which he created in 1967, Sir Evelyn was a committed and generous philanthropist. Since its founding, the Foundation has given more than £73 million to medical research, education and the arts. LSE is extremely grateful to Sir Evelyn for his long-term support through the Foundation, which since 1974, has provided funding for a number of priority areas including scholarships, campus redevelopment and academic-led projects.

In 2002, he set up Elephant Family, a conservation charity, with the Rajmata of Jaipur and Mark Shand, the late brother of the Queen Consort. Two years later, he and his wife, Lady de Rothschild financed an orphanage, the Lady Lynn Joyful Home for Children, in Tamil Nadu, India.

Sir Evelyn dedicated his professional life to his family’s banking empire and served as Chief Executive and Chairman of the bank NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd between 1976 and 2003. Sir Evelyn was also Chairman of E.L. Rothschild Ltd, a private investment company focussed on India.

Widely recognised as one of the leading philanthropists and financiers of his generation, Sir Evelyn was knighted by the Queen in 1989 for services to banking and finance.

Sir Evelyn served the British government in various capacities, including as Chairman of United Racecourse, and Deputy Chairman of Milton Keynes Development Corporation. He was a member of the UK Business Delegation with Prime Minister Tony Blair to South America and represented the UK at the International Institute of Strategic Studies meetings in Bahrain. He was active in many other business sectors including as Chairman of The Economist between 1972 and 1989.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Lady de Rothschild; children, Jessica, Anthony and David; and stepsons, Benjamin Forester Stein and John Forester Stein.

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Oct 21 2022

In Memory of Ian Hay Davison CBE (1931-2022)


We are deeply saddened to share the news that LSE alumnus, Emeritus Governor and Honorary Fellow, Ian Hay Davison CBE has passed away at the age of 91.

Ian was a devoted supporter and advocate of LSE. He demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting students through his philanthropy, and through advising LSE as member of LSE Court.

Ian Hay Davison attended Dulwich College and then the London School of Economics before completing postgraduate studies at the University of Michigan, USA.

Ian’s formidable career in finance included several high-profile regulatory roles, including chairman of the Accounting Standards Committee, Department of Trade & Industry inspector and member of the Audit Commission, before being asked by the Bank of England to become the Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s of London. He retired in 2004 but carried on as Chairman of investment firm Ruffer until 2011.

Ian’s legacy is not limited to the world of finance having spent much of his later life focusing on the arts as a trustee of the V&A and a director of the Royal Opera House, to name but a few of the voluntary roles he took on. His passion for trains also led him to become a member of the Railway Heritage Committee.

We send our deep condolences to his wife, Morny, and his loved ones.

Written by Helen Jones, Global Director of Development, LSE

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Oct 18 2022

In memory of Bruno Latour (1947-2022)


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Bruno Latour, who had a long–standing association with the LSE. This began with his position as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Information Systems (1997–2000) was followed by a part–time Centennial Professor position (2013–2015). Here, Edgar Whitley, who helped facilitate his first visiting position at LSE, remembers the person as well as the scholar.

I first met Bruno at an Information Systems conference in Cambridge in 1995. He was one of the keynote speakers and his talk was accompanied by a paper reflecting on social theory and the study of computerized work sites. Written with typical Latourian insight and humour, the paper starts with a detailed description and deconstruction of a “program of action” based around the protagonist, Hélène, and her friend Adam arranging to meet in London. It also includes asides about possible reasons for the different time zones between Britain and the Continent, the (lack of) investment in British railways and a reflection that the name of the location where they were meeting, the Eurotunnel Gate at Waterloo station, is “not such a nice label for welcoming a French woman”.

Following conversations at the conference the possibility of a visiting position at LSE was discussed the School eventually agreed a visiting appointment in Information Systems. This resulted in Bruno making weekly trips (via Eurostar to Waterloo) to spend time at LSE.

At first sight, the idea of a trained anthropologist and sociologist of scientific practice being based within information systems might not have seemed an obvious choice. However, there are strong resonances between the socio–technical approach to studying information systems and Bruno’s exploration of the hybrids of nature and culture in his 1993 book “We have never been modern”. These resonances continue to influence debates in the study of information systems. His visiting position also meant that he more explicitly considered the role of information technologies alongside the scientific practices in some of his later writings.

As part of his appointment, Bruno gave two courses open to anyone in the School (and beyond). The first, “The Politics of Nature” (later called “Nature and Society: The contribution of science studies”) was an open, unassessed lecture course allowing him to develop arguments that became the basis for his 2004 book of the same name. The relationships between nature and society continue to be seen in his more recent ecologically focused work. The second “Information Systems or Networks of Transformation” (later renamed as “Regimes of Enunciation: A critique of pure information”) was available as an assessed course but was also open to PhD students at LSE. I particularly recall his sense of excitement when he arrived in London one week having (re)discovered the work of Gabriel Tarde, work that he later claimed foreshadowed much of his own thinking.

Alongside his teaching responsibilities, Bruno took full advantage of the academic environment at LSE and each week would look through the (printed) guide to LSE Experts to find interesting like–minded colleagues to meet during his weekly visits to London. In this way he engaged with colleagues studying legal theory, accounting and anthropology and participated in events organised by the European Institute and the Department of Sociology. In 1999 he hosted a first interdisciplinary workshop based on his colleague Michel Callon’s book on the Laws of the Markets (1998).

His time in London overlapped with the so–called “Sokal affair” and in 1998 LSE hosted a public debate between Latour and Sokal. On the day of the debate, Bruno invited Alan Sokal for lunch at the LSE Staff Dining Room and brought along a bottle of his family’s famous burgundy wine as a gift. I’m sure this typical gesture of collegiality helped ensure the actual debate ran more smoothly than it might have done, given the very different intellectual positions of the two panellists.

Bruno’s time in London wasn’t just spent on teaching and research and he regularly joined us for drinks after work in the Beaver’s Retreat or arranged for a group of friends to go with him to the theatre to see plays like Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen. His offer to refund the cost of the tickets I had bought for these shows with wine was always appreciated (and taken up).

In June 2000 I joined Bruno at a midsummer workshop in Tromsø on Actor–Network Theory and IT organised by Norwegian colleagues. One of the social events for the workshop was a trip where we all tried our hand at fishing for cod and I have fond memories of the varying degrees of success we had in this endeavour.

For the workshop I was asked to give a short presentation of how I was using some of Bruno’s ideas in my own work and that simple request ended up shaping a whole portfolio of research as I sought to better understand the role that technology actors play in the development of policy initiatives like digital identity. More recently, I could see how the challenges that politicians would face when claiming that they were just “following the science” in responding to the pandemic were foreseen by Bruno’s deconstruction of what we understand by science and society / facts and values.

At LSE as elsewhere, Bruno was always particularly supportive of PhD students and junior faculty, particularly as they engaged with his ideas. For example, Amany Elbanna recalls: “Professor Latour taught me to live not only a life of sociological and anthropological observations of all humans and non–humans but also a life of reflection. I remember him sitting at the LSE’s restaurant for an hour–long hot lunch sipping a small glass of wine and inviting us PhD students to join him. He did not approve of us just eating a sandwich in 15 minutes and going back to work as we used to do. He invited us to reflect more on what we do and the observations we make. He was talented in simplifying concepts and drawing ideas on the board, so we could get a visual understanding of the complex connections he was making. I continued to email him after the LSE course and he was always generous and willing to experiment with new challenges in the world of IT and how we can explain them. With all the books and papers he wrote, he will certainly never die but I will miss him catching up with new topics”.

Mary Darking, who particularly enjoyed his writing seminars, recalls: “Bruno was a true egalitarian. No matter how eminent the company, he always made time to warmly greet and speak with his students. He was our (somewhat) Socratic Professor and through his intriguing teaching method he empowered us to push convention aside and forge our own pathway through our chosen empirical wilderness. His sense of humour was a joy. I will never forget him commanding us, at the top of his voice, to put down our ordinary spectacles and “put on your virtual reality goggles [which he pronounced ‘googles’]”. For weeks we followed his instruction—“just describe”—sharing our descriptions with one another, spotting the tropes and clichés we had reproduced and learning to look beyond them. It was co–learning at its best”.

Peter Erdelyi writes “Bruno Latour’s generosity towards students was legendary and we were absolutely thrilled when he agreed to participate in an event a group of Information Systems PhD students organised in 2008, sharing with us his latest thinking and helping us work out our own intellectual quandaries. He will be greatly missed and remembered with affection by generations of former and current students”.

Bruno’s links with the School continued with his Centennial Professorship and I occasionally bumped into him in the corridors of LSE. Always generous with his time, these accidental meetings ended up being longer conversations and catch–ups and reminded me of how influential his thinking had been on me. Indeed, ideas and insights he shared continue to shape my approach to research and life as well as those of my colleagues.

With his death, the LSE community loses both an influential, inspirational and provocative thinker but also a dear friend and colleague.

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Aug 16 2022

In memory of Professor Ian Nish (1926-2022)


It is with deep regret that we announce that Emeritus Professor Ian Nish died on 31 July 2022 at the age of 96. Ian was a member of the Department of International History from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. He was one of the world’s leading scholars on the foreign relations of modern Japan and had an exemplary career as both a researcher and a teacher.

Ian was born in Edinburgh in 1926. Towards the end of the Second World War he started to learn Japanese as a young soldier in India. Having graduated from the School of Japanese in Simla in 1946, he was sent the following year to Japan to serve with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Kure where he engaged in interrogation work. Ian was therefore the last member of the great generation of Japanologists who emerged from the war, which also included similarly eminent figures such as the late Ron Dore.

In 1948 Ian returned to the UK and began an undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, before embarking on a PhD at SOAS under the supervision of W.G. Beasley. His first academic post, before he moved to the LSE, was at the University of Sydney. In 1966 he published his first book, The Anglo-Japanese Alliance: The Diplomacy of Two Island Empires 1894-1907, and this was followed in 1972 by Alliance in Decline: A Study in Anglo-Japanese Relations 1908-23. These two volumes remain fifty years later the standard histories of the alliance. In addition, Ian wrote several other major books that continue to influence the field, including The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War (1985) and Japan’s Struggle with Internationalism: Japan, China, and the League of Nations (1993).

Outside of his writing, Ian made a great contribution both to the School and to the field of Japanese studies. As well as his departmental duties at the LSE, Ian was closely associated with the founding and running of STICERD. He sat on its steering committee and contributed greatly to its International Studies programme, bringing a brilliant range of both young and established scholars of East Asia to speak at its seminars. He was also a chairman of the School’s publication committee, of the Centre of International Studies, and of the senior common room.

In the field of Japanese Studies, Ian was one of the key individuals in nurturing this discipline in the UK. He was an instrumental figure in the establishment in 1974 of the British Association of Japanese Studies and became involved in the running of the European Association of Japanese Studies, acting as its president from 1985 to 1988. In addition, He chaired the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee from 1983 to 1991 and served as a member of the DTI’s Advisory Committee on the teaching of Japanese language in the UK. Ian was also an enthusiastic member of the Japan Society, served on its Council, and played a major role in its scholastic activities.

In 1990, Ian received a CBE for his contribution to Japanese studies and then in the following year, on his retirement, the Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun.

Ian clearly deserved a long and happy retirement after the above labours, which came on top of his being an inspired guide to the history of Japan to undergraduates, postgraduates and his PhD students. Indeed, soon after retirement Ian looked younger as the worst stresses of administration fell from his shoulders. Being Ian, though, this did not mean that he had decided to rest.

In 1995 Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama announced that, in order to understand the Second World War and Japan’s role within it, the government would finance a programme of historical studies of its most significant bilateral relations. This led to the formation of the Anglo-Japanese History Project in which Ian acted the convenor for the British contributors, while his long-standing friend, Professor Chihiro Hosoya, was chosen as his Japanese counterpart. The Project involved a series of conferences and workshops being held in Britain and Japan in the late 1990s. This work, in due course, led to the production of six volumes of essays, published in both English and Japanese, covering the political/diplomatic, economic, cultural, and strategic interactions between the two countries. It was an immense undertaking but proved invaluable for the field. Following this strenuous endeavour, Ian continued avidly with his own research. In 2016, at the age of 90, he produced his last publication, a two-volume History of Manchuria, 1840-1948. Even after that, he did what he could to keep up with the field.

Ian will be remembered as a giant in his field, but, in addition, as many of the messages of condolence to his family and friends reveal, he will also be thought of warmly for his great kindness. Ian was a true gentleman, always polite, and never speaking ill of anyone, but also armed with a dry and sometimes mischievous sense of humour. He and his late wife Rona delighted in inviting guests to their house in Oxshott, and those of Scottish blood would come down in January to share a haggis on Burns Night. He will be greatly missed by very many people across the world.

We send our deep condolences to his two daughters, Fiona and Alison.

With thanks to Professor Antony Best, from the Department of International History, for sharing this tribute.

The date of Professor Ian Nish’s passing has been updated to 31 July 2022, with apologies for the initial oversight. 

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Aug 2 2022

In memory of James Woodburn (1934-2022)


We are sad to announce the death of James Woodburn, a former colleague and one of the best-known researchers and writers on hunter-gatherer and egalitarian societies. He studied History as an undergraduate in Cambridge, then did national service, later taking an interpreter course in Russian. He returned to Cambridge, this time to do a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology. He conducted fieldwork in (then) Tanganyika, graduating in 1964 with a thesis entitled ‘Social organisation of the Hadza of North Tanganyika’. The Hadza remained his long-term field project; it was on the basis of this research that he developed his renowned insights into immediate- and delayed-return systems. He also collected Hadza material culture for the Horniman museum. While lecturing in our department, he supervised numerous doctoral students, including Roy Ellen, Jerome Lewis and Thomas Widlok, and played a particularly strong mentoring role to several African students, including Bwire Kaare and Wolde Gossa Tadesse. Two of his former students, Thomas Widlok and Wolde Tadesse, held a colloquium in his honour at the Max Planck Institute in Halle, later publishing the proceeds in a two-volume festschrift entitled Property and Equality (Berghahn). He remained a keen participant in the scholarly enterprise long after retirement, and was an honorary member of the International Society of Hunter-Gatherer Research. He regularly attended our Malinowski Lecture and went to CHAGS conferences, co-hosting one at LSE in 1986 and attending the last one in Malaysia in 2018.

Watch video: James Woodburn: A Personal Account of my Life Among the Hadza 1957–1961 6 February 2018

Read article: Egalitarian Societies – James Woodburn

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May 4 2022

In memory of Professor Jude Howell


A portrait of Professor Jude Howell in a patterned jacket and smiling at the cameraIt is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our colleague, Professor Jude Howell, on 29 April 2022. Jude was strongly committed to the interdisciplinary field of Development Studies and a leader in it, both in the department and well beyond.

Jude joined LSE in 2003, bringing well-established expertise on China to her teaching and research. Her 1989 D.Phil at the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Sussex addressed China’s Open Policy of 1978-1988, and resulted in her first book, published in 1993. Before joining the Department of International Development, she held positions at the University of East Anglia, the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Sussex, and LSE’s Department of Social Policy. In Jude’s own words, she was a “happy bunny” in her final university home and the department can confirm she was much-loved and appreciated in it.

Jude’s research has continued to explore the field of International Development, matching theoretical sophistication with intensive fieldwork-based research. She was fluent in Chinese and had strong academic and personal networks with scholars and activists across the Global South. While primarily a scholar of China, she also lived and worked in India, Mozambique, and Jordan. She published four more co-authored books and seven edited or co-edited ones, as well as many articles and book chapters.

Jude’s research on civil society is particularly notable, receiving many research grants and generating some of her best-known publications. Her most recent book, NGOs and Accountability in China: Child Welfare Organisations (Palgrave 2018, with XY Shang and K Fisher) showcased her dual concern with how NGOs can be held accountable even as they hold other institutions accountable. Like most of her work, this book is attentive to power relations and hierarchies in the particular conditions of authoritarianism. These are central concerns in the field of Development Studies and Jude was a leading figure in their analysis.

Beyond the academy, many governmental and non-governmental organizations sought Jude’s advice on civil society, China, and related topics. These included UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, Australian Aid, Ford Foundation, Department for International Development UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK, Save the Children, British Council, Christian Aid, and Asia Monitor Research Centre. For example, her research established a set of principles for the effective working of civil society that was used in Australia to develop a new Civil Society Engagement Framework. Its implementation led to an increase of more than $200 million in funding to NGOs.

James Putzel, a long-time colleague and fellow Professor of Development Studies, wrote:

“It is with great sadness that we witness the passing of our dear colleague Jude Howell. Jude was a modest scholar whose many decades of research and publication made her a giant in Development Studies. Her work on China and particularly her insights on civil society and labour in the country were unique and make an important and lasting contribution to our understanding of this complex giant. But her research stretched much further as indicated by the book she co-authored with Jeremy Lund that delved into the impact of the “war on terror” on civil society across the developing world. Jude was a devoted teacher, who demonstrated infinite patience even when she felt extremely impatient. She was above all an honest scholar and a principled colleague who believed deeply in the value of interdisciplinary development studies. We, at LSE, will miss her dearly, as will, I am sure, the community of scholars across the world who are trying to make sense of the problems of ‘late development’.”

Jude was a thought-provoking and effective instructor, rising to the challenges of novel forms of teaching in the pandemic. Several decades of students have taken her demanding DV432 course, China in Developmental Perspective, learning about Chinese development experiences at home as well as its relations with other countries. In recent years, she has returned to her Development Studies roots to be a core instructor in DV442, a required core course for the department’s MSc’s in Health and International Development and International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies.

One recent student, Han Yibo (MSc Development Studies 2019-2020) gave her a fitting eulogy, noting: “We talk about her, ‘hate’ her, and we love her. She is famous among Chinese students and her work on China is a must-read. Sometimes we ‘hate’ her because she is so outspoken and level-headed to our society, and it is so difficult and awkward for us to admit that she is upright… and so right. She inspires us to challenge our deep-rooted thoughts and look at China in the mirror. We all love her.” We hope that her other students can add recent memories in the “Responses” section below.

Finally, colleague Kate Meagher adds some texture to our remembrances of Jude by reminding us of who she was as a person and the things that motivated her to the very end:

“Jude was a deeply committed scholar who engaged with International Development as a vocation driven by the pursuit of justice, and interdisciplinary as well as cross-cultural understanding. She spoke of her Welsh origins and working class background as formative of her profound respect for knowledge, labour struggles and just regulatory authority. Her fluency in Chinese allowed her to decipher the complex permutations of labour struggles in China, which often took the form of labour NGOs – always with sensitivity to the risks faced by those she engaged with. Jude was active in supporting Chinese activists and scholars at risk, as well as being genuinely supportive of colleagues and a committed member of the UCU. But above all she was a vibrant and warm human being, with her maroon hair, marathon running, love of good food and joyous refusal to give up. We will miss her dearly.”

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Apr 12 2022

In memory of Ray Paul


It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Ray Paul, who died on Tuesday 29 March 2022. Our deepest sympathies are with Jasna and the rest of Ray’s family.

After a BSc, MSc and then PhD in mathematics and operational research at the University of Hull, Ray’s academic career was spent at two institutions – LSE and, later, Brunel University.  He arrived at LSE in the early 1970s initially doing teaching and research in operational research where his former undergraduate student (and later colleague) Tony Cornford reflected on his teaching style “Ray was the one who had the most direct and student focused approach. He looked at you, not the back of the room or the blackboard, but straight in your eyes. He asked questions and expected a response.  His technique with the coloured pens and the overhead projector was exemplary, and his lecture notes were also a cut above—readable, coherent and with blank sections for the difficult bits that you had to fill in for yourself. You really felt that he had thought about his teaching and his students, and was on your side”.

Over time, Ray came to specialise in the area of simulation modelling and, particularly, discrete event simulation modelling where he brought together a stream of successful PhD students who explored a range of phenomena around the building and visual representation of simulation models.

Ray supervised over 55 PhD students during his career and one frequently bumps into one of his PhD “children”, “grandchildren” and even “great grandchildren”, a community he took great pride in.

When the Department of Information Systems at LSE was created following the dissolution of the Department of Statistical and Mathematical Sciences (SAMS) Ray moved across from Operational Research to Information Systems, working closely with the new Head of Department, Ian Angell to build on the distinctive approach to the social study of information systems at LSE.

Alongside departmental duties as Ian’s deputy, Ray also took on a number of school wide roles including as Dean of Admissions and developed many of the person management skills that would support him well in his later career.  He worked closely and collegially with professional services colleagues and always found it more effective to have a quite word about a particularly contentious piece of business beforehand than to have the issue end up being argued about in a meeting itself.

As colleague Chrisanthi Avgerou noted, “Ray was the voice of witty optimism in everyday LSE life and of cool reasoning whenever there was trouble”.  Many colleagues have recollected this mix of a dry sense of humour, sharp analytical thinking and warm kindness since hearing of Ray’s passing.

Ray’s ongoing connections with Operational Research (he was awarded the Companionship in Operational Research by the Operational Research Society in 2009) was instrumental in the launch of the European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS) as a publication of the Operational Research Society in 1991.  Ray wryly describes the origins in an editorial entitled “Changeover and celebrating change: 20 reasons for celebrating 20 years” published in 2007.

He was editor (with Editor–in–Chief the late Bob O’Keefe) of EJIS between 2000 and 2003 and then Editor–in–Chief, sharing the role with Bob and Richard Baskerville between 2004 and 2007.  In these roles he sought to continuously improve EJIS in all ways possible.  Ray was understandably proud when EJIS was named as one of the AIS Senior Scholars’ basket of 8 leading journals in the field and, more recently, when it was recognised as publishing some of the most original and best–executed research in the field in the 2021 CABS Academic Journal Guide.

Alongside Ray’s role in launching EJIS, Ray was also pivotal in creating the first European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) which organised by the Operational Research Society.  The 30th ECIS conference takes place this June in Timisoira, Romania.

In 1992 Ray left the LSE to take up a chair at Brunel University and he was soon appointed as Head of Department and then Dean of the Faculty of Technology and Information Systems.  For a while, he was also acting Dean of the Faculties of Science and Life Sciences at Brunel.  When asked how he could manage such a diverse portfolio, he outlined one of his key management tips that he gladly shared with junior colleagues.  If one of the Heads of Department asked him to sign a document, he did so automatically because he knew he could trust his Heads of Department to flag up anything where he would be needed to make a judgement call on the issue.  Moreover, if he felt he couldn’t trust the judgement of his Department Heads and had to check what they were asking him to sign then that was what needed fixing not the particular documents he had been asked to sign.  In this way, he nurtured a generation of now senior academics who continue to embody the positive, supportive role he played in their careers in their own institutions.

Ray was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease whilst at Brunel although it took him quite some time to come to terms with his diagnosis, not least because it meant he had to take sickness retirement soon after it became public knowledge.  Nevertheless he continued to remain active as a scholar including a Visiting Professorship at LSE and became President of the UK Academy for Information Systems (UKAIS) in 2012–13.

He wrote about his experiences with a Parkinson’s diagnosis in his 2009 book “Living with Parkinson’s disease: Shake, rattle and roll”.  The title played to his sense of humour and reflected his experience of the beneficial role that dancing could bring as both a source of pleasure wherever there was a good tune playing as well as being a form of mental and physical resilience to those living with Parkinson’s disease.  The book gave hope to many who were coming to terms with their own or a loved one’s Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Alongside his love of great music to dance to, Ray was also an avid table football player and many people have fond memories of (typically) being repeatedly thrashed by Ray in games.

In lieu of flowers, Ray’s family would welcome donations to Parkinson’s UK https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/donate.


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