May 17 2021

In memory of Mike Oliver (1952 – 2021)


Tuesday 28 September 2021
Remembrance Service at LSE

We are holding a remembrance service at LSE on Tuesday 28 September 2021 to celebrate Mike’s life. To find out more about the service and timings, please view this Google form and RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 15 September 2021. The service will be streamed online for those unable to attend in person. 

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Mike Oliver.

Mike joined LSE in 1986 as the first external appointee to the newly created Research and Consultancy Office. He saw the Division change name several times and grow from just two members of staff sharing a single desk and telephone to the team it is today. Over the years he built up an in-depth understanding of how LSE works and an encyclopaedic knowledge of sponsors and how best to attract their attention. He supported thousands of research funding applications and generations of researchers with professionalism, efficiency and a willingness to help. In 2015 he was delighted to be presented with the inaugural Director’s Award at the Values in Practice Awards for the “key role he played in launching so many individual and collective achievements”.

Working at LSE was a huge part of his life and, in what should have been his retirement years, he chose instead to continue working full time in a role he loved. He said he could not think of a career that he would have enjoyed as much.

His kindness, sense of humour and love of good conversation over a pint gained him many friends across the whole of LSE and tributes have been flooding in from colleagues old and new. We are privileged to have known him and will miss him deeply.

Share your thoughts and memories of working with Mike.

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Mar 3 2021

In memory of Wilson Antonio Zabala


It is with great sadness to report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Wilson Antonio Zabala.

Wilson worked on the LSE campus since 2014 with Noonan having become a member of the Estates Division from in March 2018.

He was a very cheerful individual, hardworking, punctual and full of energy. Wilson had been battling cancer for some time and sadly passed away in Valencia, Spain in August. He will be deeply missed by the team he worked with and our condolences are with his wife and daughter.

Mary Lee, LSE Estates

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Feb 26 2021

In memory of Professor Robert Pinker


Professor Robert PinkerProfessor Robert Pinker

Robert Pinker, who has died aged nearly 90, grew up near Tufnell Park and attended Holloway County School. He did his National Service in the Royal Ulster Rifles. He began his academic career at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), receiving a certificate in Social Science and Administration (1959).

Bob, with Peter Townsend, conducted 80% of the research interviews for the Townsend’s influential book, The Last Refuge (1962).

He contributed to the research for Brian Abel Smith’s book ‘The Hospitals’ (1964) and produced a separate volume, ‘English Hospital Statistics 1861-1938’ for which he was awarded an MSc (1965).

His academic career took him from Head of Sociology at Goldsmiths College (1964-1972), with a strong emphasis on social policy, to a Chair in the Social Policy Department at LSE. He was also Pro-Director of LSE (1985-88) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Social Sciences at the University of London 1989-1990. He was Lewisham Professor of Social Administration, Goldsmiths and Bedford College (1972-1974), Professor of Social Studies, Chelsea College, University of London (1974-1978), Professor of Social Work Studies, LSE (1978-1993), including Departmental Convenor (1982-1985),  and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Social Sciences and Continuing Education, University of London ((1989-1990), and Professor of Social Administration, LSE (1993-1996).

Important Publications include: ‘Social Theory and Social Policy’ 1971; ‘The Welfare State: a comparative perspective’ 1973 ; the ‘Idea of Welfare’ 1979; ‘Social Work in an Enterprise Society’ 1990; and ‘Privacy and Personality Rights: commercial Exploitation and Protection’ (with Robert Deacon and Nigel Lipton) 2010.

Professor  Pinker also editor of series of seven books by Heinemann Studies in Social Policy and Welfare. In his book ‘The Idea of Welfare’ Pinker brought together a wide range of comparative views, based upon an analysis of Social Policy in Britain, Russia and America. His view can be summarised thus, (p42):

“In trying to make sense and create order out of an increasingly complex process of social change men and women learn to systematize and extend their conceptual universes. Social Polices are attempts to give, through the force of statutes and administrative practice, a relative continuity and permanence to what might otherwise be only transient extensions of human imagination and empathy.”

He received various honours throughout his life; an elected Fellow of the Society of Editors in 2004, CBE in 2005, Hon. LLD of the University of Ulster (2016) and in 2015 the Social Policy Society awarded him their Special Recognition Award for his “consistent sustained and long-standing contribution to the field of Social Policy through research or teaching and learning.”

His interests extended beyond his academic work, and he was a successful participant in public life, first as a member of the Advertising Standards Authority, then as Privacy Commissioner, and later, Chair of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC)

Days before his death he received the 2020 Astor Award for Press Freedom from the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU). Lord Black of Brentwood, Chair of the CPU described him as, “An indomitable champion of free speech, free press and of self-regulation. His work not only just strengthened press freedom but – as a result – strengthened the Commonwealth, too.”

After retiring from the PCC in 2004, he served for two years as Chair of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Press Council, the first such body in the Balkans, and had continued helping to establish press councils in overseas countries, including Sri Lanka and South Sudan.

He was approachable to all and a man of many interests outside academic and public life. He was a great conversationalist, a good listener and extremely kind and supportive of many who turned to him for advice. In recent days several students have written to me extolling Bob’s virtues as a teacher and advisor in both academic and pastoral matters.

He managed the work life balance without ever referring to that concept. Hs wife Jen, to whom he was devoted, died 25 years ago after 25 years of marriage. They had two daughters, Cathy and Lucy, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were the centre of his life and he filled his house in Blackheath with books, conversation, and laughter.

He followed the fortunes of Chelsea FC and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of professional boxing. He also loved old motor cars and for many years the family car was a Daimler.

He often reminisced about his upbringing in north London and always enjoyed traditional, family home cooking. He considered a good, shop-bought, fish and chip supper a special treat.

A special man who will be much missed.

John Carrier

Posted by: Posted on by LSE Internal Communications

Feb 17 2021

In memory of Professor Saw Swee Hock (1931-2021)


It is with great sadness that LSE writes in memory of Professor Saw Swee Hock, one of our most eminent alumni, benefactors and Honorary Fellows and Distinguished Alumni Leadership recipient, who died on Tuesday 16 February 2021.

Professor Saw Swee Hock at the official opening of the LSESU Saw Swee Hock Student Centre on the 24th October 2014

Prof Saw’, as he was so fondly known as across the LSE community, received his BA and MA from the University of Malaya in Singapore (the predecessor to the National University of Singapore), before coming to LSE to study for his PhD in Statistics, which he completed in 1963.

There followed a long and prolific career in academia and public service. Professor Saw’s career included positions at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore (NUS), from which he emerged as a recognised and respected expert on population and investment management.

Pioneering the study of statistics in many of the region’s most renowned and prestigious universities, Professor Saw demonstrated an impressive and unstinting devotion to his field that continued throughout his life. He held visiting positions at universities including Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge and was a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and President’s Honorary Professor of Statistics at NUS.

In an article in 2012 for LSE’s supporter magazine, Impact, Professor Saw reflected on his time at the School and sharing this with his wife who was also studying in London at the time. Professor Saw remember this as “one of the most significant events of my life”. Citing the high level of academic rigour and excellence that he encountered at LSE as “preparing him well to pursue a career in academia.”

Professor Saw’s commitment to education continued through his philanthropy, notable towards his alma maters. In the past decade Professor Saw bestowed extraordinary gifts to LSE. As a result of Professor Saw’s donations, The LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre opened in 2013 and the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, a multidisciplinary Research Centre founded in 2014, are named in recognition of his outstanding generosity. His support of some of the most distinguished scholars from LSE to study at the School is also a significant part of his legacy. These tremendous pillars of support across teaching, research and community will have lasting impact for generations to come.

Prof. Yao Qiwei, from the Department of Statistics at LSE and the Saw Swee Hock Professor of Statistics at National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2020, commented “I remember vividly my conversation with Prof. Saw during my time at the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability at NUS in early 2020. His keen interest and curiosity in statistics and data science was almost infectious. One can easily tell that he cared deeply about the study of statistics at NUS and LSE. We all are grateful for his generous support to LSE. I myself am extremely honoured to be Saw Swee Hock Professor of Statistics in 2020”.

Professor Saw’s association with LSE spanned over 60 years, he was highly revered by the LSE alumni community in Singapore and admired by LSE faculty and students alike. It was a great honour for the School to recognise Professor Saw as an Honorary Fellow in 2006 in recognition of his illustrious academic career and his transformative philanthropy. He also received LSE’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award in 2015.

Professor Saw’s generosity has impacted many generations of students and faculty and will continue to do so for years to come.  We will be eternally thankful to call Professor Saw an alumnus of LSE. We will remember his extraordinary modesty, warmth, kindness, judicious insight and, of course, the glint in his eye with his wonderful sense of humour and the laughter that always followed. Prof Saw will be deeply missed. Requiescat in pace et surget in gloria.

A private family funeral will take place in Singapore on Thursday 18 February.

Professor Saw Swee Hock is survived by his wife, Cheng Siok Hwa, daughters Seang Mei and Seang Pin, his son, Seang Kuan, and five grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with them at this time. When circumstances allow, we look forward to appropriately honouring Professor Saw’s life and contributions to LSE, both on campus and in Singapore.

Posted by: Posted on by LSE External Communications

Jan 5 2021

In memory of Basil Selig Yamey (1919-2020)


Basil Selig Yamey

Basil Selig Yamey was born in Cape Town (South Africa) on 4 May 1919. He studied at the University of Cape Town, where he graduated in December 1938 with a B. Com. degree with distinction. One of his teachers, William Baxter, the Professor of Accounting at the University of Cape Town, had LSE connections and encouraged Basil to further his studies there. In March 1939, he registered as a Ph.D. student at LSE with a thesis entitled ‘Shareholders, Accounting, and the Law’, to be supervised by Arnold Plant. In May 1940, his studies, because of the war, were suspended, and he worked under Arnold Plant at the Ministry of Information.

Basil returned to South Africa at the end of 1940 and was appointed Lecturer in Commerce at Rhodes University College, Grahamstown. He enlisted in the South African Air Force (SAAF) at the end of 1941 and worked in the Statistical Section of Air Headquarters. Basil left the SAAF in February 1945 and returned to teaching at Rhodes University College, but moved to the University of Cape Town in July 1946, where he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Commerce.

In 1947, Baxter returned to LSE to become Professor  of Accounting, the first such post in Britain, and he encouraged Basil to return to LSE. So in 1947 Basil applied for the post of Reader in Commerce at the LSE, but accepted the position of Lecturer in Commerce, with the understanding that he would be considered for a Readership in Commerce when that post was created.

He joined the staff at LSE in December 1947, but stayed only one year, resigning  in December 1948, to become an Associate Professor of Marketing in the School of Commerce at McGill University, Montreal. In March 1950, the LSE Director wrote to Basil to see if he was interested in returning to LSE to a Readership in Economics (with Special Reference to Distribution). The offer was accepted the offer and Basil returned to LSE as a Reader in Economics from 1st October 1950. In June 1956, Richard Sayers, the Editor of journal Economica, wrote to Basil to invite him to become Assistant Editor of the journal. Thus began a long association with the journal, where he was the Editor from 1960 to 1974.

In January 1960, Basil Yamey became Professor of Economics at LSE and he taught there until he retired in 1984, when he continued his association with the School as Emeritus Professor.

In 1948 Basil married twenty-year-old Helen Bloch in Cape Town. They had a son, Robert Adam in 1952, and a daughter, Jill Alison in 1956. After she came to London, Helen attended the St Martin’s School of Art, where she studied sculpture. She died in 1980. Basil married Demetra Geogakopoulou in 1991.

In his research, Basil was interested in the history of accounting and spent much time researching the historical  development of accounting in Italy. For example, on the basis of his detailed analysis of historical accounting records (Yamey 1949), he criticised the theory put forward by Werner Sombart (Sombart 1924)  that the double-entry bookkeeping (DEB) system was a precondition, or at least an important stimulating factor, for the emergence of modern capitalism. Yamey’s research suggested that while teaching manuals over many years had preached the benefits of the DEB system, many firms still continued to use the older single-entry as modern capitalists. His work was important in encouraging other researchers to explore this area of economics.

Basil’s research led him to oppose monopolies and his criticisms of the operation of Retail Price Maintenance influenced opinion towards ending its operation in 1964. He was appointed to the Cinematograph Film Council in 1960 and served as a part-time member of the of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission 1966 to 1978. His interest in the free operation of markets led to his involvement in the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he was a member of the Advisory Council from 1962 to 1984. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1977.

Book cover: Art & AccountingBasil loved art and served as a Trustee of the National Gallery from 1974 to 1981 and a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1978 to 1981. He combined this love of art with his research into the history of accounting when, in 1989, he published Art and Accounting, a book that reproduced over 100 images of bookkeepers at work from several centuries of European art.

In 2019, twenty-eight of Basil’s colleagues, former students and his long-time LSE secretary took the opportunity to express the admiration and respect they had for him as a person and for his achievements by contributing to a book that was published to celebrate his centenary, entitled Basil Yamey at the LSE:A Birthday Tribute. From among his colleagues there were many tributes to his approachability and help when they were newly arrived in the Economics Department, of his open-mindedness and fairness in his advice. His help as a mentor to junior members of the Department was warmly appreciated by them as was patience and support. His research in Italy led to contacts with Italian universities and there were a number of Italian contributors, including Romano Prodi, who had come to LSE as research students and reported on how well he had looked after them. His former secretary recorded that he was a delight to  work for and that his enthusiasm for his research into early Italian accounting had led to her development of a love of Italian art.

Outside of the Economics Department, Basil played his part in the functioning of the School: he was Vice-Chairman of the Appointments Committee for three years, a member of the Standing Committee for three years and a member of the Committee on Administrative and Library Staff. He was Convenor of the Economics Department from 1966 to 1969.  Ralf Dahrendorf paid tribute to his role by noting that he was “one of those on the academic side who for one reason or another commanded respect at the School … had a commitment to the School and a way of getting on with all groups”. (Dahrendorf, 1995, p. 488).

Basil died on 19 November 2020.

Jim Thomas

(Emeritus Reader in Economics and Research Associate, STICERD, LSE)



Dahrendorf, R. (1995) A History of the London School of Economics and Political Science 1895—1995, (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

London School of Economics (2019) Basil Yamey at the LSE: A Birthday Tribute, (London: London School of Economics).

Sombart, W. (1924) Der Moderne Kapitalismus, (Munich).

Yamey, B.S. (1949) ‘Scientific Bookkeeping and the Rise of Capitalism’, Economic History Review, Vol.1, No. 2/3, 99-113.

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Dec 23 2020

In memory of Professor Sir John Hills


Professor_John_HillsIt is with great sadness that the School announces the death of our esteemed colleague Professor Sir John Hills. John was Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at LSE and the Chair of CASE (the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion). A brilliant scholar, a generous colleague and mentor, and a kind and modest man, he made tremendous contributions to social science and his work has had a major impact on social policy, especially in relation to poverty and inequality.

A full tribute to John will be shared in the coming days. Friends, colleagues and students can leave their memories and thoughts below.

Posted by: Posted on by LSE Internal Communications

Nov 18 2020

In memory of David Goldstone CBE


It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of David Goldstone CBE (LLB 1952) on 21 October 2020.

David was passionate about LSE and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1995 in recognition of his devoted service to the School – which included founding the Emeritus Governors.

A proud Welshman from humble beginnings, David left home for the first time in 1949 to undertake his Law degree at LSE. As a student he lived in Passfield Hall, and it was this lived student experience, and later his successful career in property development that facilitated the School setting up further halls of residence. David continued his relationship with the School throughout his lifetime, serving as a governor and supporting the School philanthropically. He found great enjoyment in his later years engaged in the work of the Law department, where he went on to support the student Mooting Programme, which sees students engage in competitive legal arguments in front of a mock court.

In 2018 David was interviewed for Ratio (page 52) where he gives a lovely account of his journey through life with LSE.

David will be missed.

Keith Mackrell
LSE Emeritus Governor

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Oct 8 2020

In memory of Peter Anastasi


It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our friend and colleague Peter Anastasi. Peter was a member of the LSE security team for 16 years. He joined the LSE from Exxon Mobil, and became known to all as the ever-present and unfailingly helpful custodian of ‘the Towers’.

Peter had a varied career and brought great experience, and a wealth of human kindness to his work. Originally from Cyprus, Peter had worked in commerce and international shipping before taking up roles in security. He maintained a strong connection to his home country and was a dedicated Spurs fan, never  failing to remind colleagues of his team’s notable victories. Peter was an entertaining raconteur at social events, with a huge repertoire of stories and anecdotes, and a patient listener to the experiences of others.

Peter was known to all for his dedication, politeness and desire to help. Over the years of Peter’s service he developed strong relationships with many of those working in the Towers. He became the ‘go-to’ person on a range of issues that went well beyond security. Peter’s compassion and desire to help manifested in every part of his life. He was a firm friend and a staunch supporter of colleagues. He counselled and advised a cohort of fellow workers, providing professional advice, helping with personal issues and even dedicated his time to teaching colleagues English.  On the basis of Peter’s support  a generation of LSE security and reception staff were able to move on to greater things, both within the School and beyond.

Peter was a man of great warmth, unbounded humanity and profound gentility. He died while still in service to a School he loved, and leaves behind a loving wife, a daughter and two sons.

We will miss him deeply.

His family have requested that donations are made in lieu of flowers to The North London Hospice (Click to donate in memory of and enter his name).

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Oct 7 2020

In memory of Claudette Small


Smiling picture of friend and colleague, Claudette SmallIt is with great sadness to report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Claudette Small.

Claudette joined the Catering Department as Accounts Manager in July 1999, for a brief time went to work in the Finance Division and then returned to work in the Catering Department as the Catering and Finance Office Manager where she was welcomed with open arms.

Claudette was well known to many in Residences and Catering Division, the Finance Division and Security and Estates teams as well as across the wider school.

She had a hugely positive outlook and was a wonderful and spirited colleague. She’ll be fondly remembered for her wicked sense of humour, strong sense of loyalty and determination – she was always there for a chat on any subject.

Claudette enjoyed to travel with her friends at home and abroad and loved working with the girls at the church girls brigade, she was so proud of all her girls. When time allowed she was also a passionate drummer who enjoyed practicing and was learning all the time.

Claudette was an integral part of our catering family, dedicated, loyal and always there to listen to others problems and triumphs, we are privileged to have known her. She will be deeply missed by all she worked with at LSE.

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Sep 3 2020

Professor David Graeber

Professor David Graeber- LSE

Professor David Graeber

We are shocked and saddened to learn of David Graeber’s death. David was a hugely influential anthropologist, political activist and public intellectual. He was a person with so many facets that it is only by opening up this space to a community of remembrance that we can engage with his legacy.

His brilliant work ranged from studies of Madagascan funerary practices, magic, bureaucracy, financialisation to kings, puppets and pirates. Each conversation with him, and reading of his work, took us on a new path. Striking against learned ignorance everywhere he criticised the banal cruelty of debt, bullshit jobs and the devaluation of our humanity. We also remember him as full of humour and quizzical challenge, encouraging us to take risks and think differently. For us all, perhaps, he was what an anthropologist should be—a messenger of other possibilities.

Professor Laura Bear
Head of Department, LSE Anthropology


LSE Anthropology are holding an open space commemoration for David on Wednesday 16th September from 4:30-5:30 via Zoom.

Please sign up on Eventbrite here: 

Posted by: Posted on by LSE External Communications