In Memorium–Professor Richard Wise

With a heavy, melancholic heart, we announce that our friend and colleague, Prof. Richard Wise, passed away on Friday 2nd March. As a number of you know, Richard had been fighting with myeloma – with his typical British humour and in admirably stoic fashion – for the past two years. He died peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family, having been admitted two weeks ago. He was as active as one can be right up to the last few weeks, reading books, taking photographs, and providing wonderful company to those who visited him. He celebrated his 68th birthday at the end of January with friends.

Richard was a major contributor and supporter of the Society from its inception. Indeed, one could observe that our field eventually caught up with Richard: his internationally-influential research career always emphasised and explored the nature of the biology that underpins healthy and impaired language function. Richard was a key player in the first development of functional neuroimaging (initially with PET and later fMRI) and, in particular, in relation to language function. The results of his papers continue to have significant influence on our field. As well as prosecuting examinations of healthy language function, Richard was an early pioneer of the use of functional neuroimaging in patient groups in order to reveal the regions and networks that support recovered and compensated function. As well as his influential research, Richard also contributed enormously to the health of our field through his exemplary training of the next cadre of cognitive neurologists, speech therapists and psychologists – many of whom are now international leaders in their own right.

With his passing, our field inevitably becomes a little less colourful. We will all miss his enthusiasm, keen mind and inquisitive nature – as well as his love of gossip, humour and martinis.

Personal reflections and memories can be posted to: