Richard Gregory 24/7/23 – 17/5/2010

richard gregory

Photo credit: Martin Haswell.

Richard Gregory was one of those extraordinary individuals whose ability to think creatively about complex neuropsychological matters was matched only by his ability to communicate his ideas to the rest of us. As ‘A’ level zoology students, his seminal book ‘Eye and Brain‘ was our key to understanding the complex relationship between visual apparatus and visual experience and later, as a student nurse, I remember using it to gently explain this to a tutor who had (wrongly) failed my essay on the neural structure of the optic tract.

Much later, giving my first paper to the Experimental Psychology Society at  University College, London, I  was ‘refereed’ by Richard Gregory who was chairing the session. Large and eagle-eyed; keen interest oozed out of every pore for every presentation, most of them delivered by distinguished academics far further up the food chain than me, a trembling PhD candidate. Insignificant as I was, he accorded me the same courtesies and respectful commentary as he had everyone else. Not just an exquisitely bright, vibrantly enthusiastic researching psychologist but a gentleman of the old school, dignified and courteous.

While a very luminous source of inspiration has gone, Richard L. has undoubtedly set the fire of intellectual inquiry in so many others as to ensure a legacy of ideas well into all our futures.