Professor Glyn Humphreys,1954-2016

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Professor Glyn Humphreys, Watts Chair of Experimental Psychology and Head of
the Department of Experimental Psychology, died suddenly on 14th January while in Hong Kong as a Distinguished Visiting Professor.

The department released a statement on its website, noting that, “Psychology has lost a wonderful friend, a caring mentor and a brilliant scientist.” 

Educated at Bristol University in the late 1970s and formerly holding a professorship at Birmingham University and special professorships in Germany and China, Professor Humphreys was described as a “world leading authority in cognitive neuropsychology”, according to the statement, and had been recognised by numerous awards and honours including the British Psychological Society Lifetime achievement award in 2015. 

“Members of the Department of Psychology have been deeply affected by this extremely sad news,” the statement continued. 

“Glyn was so young and so full of life and vitality. Together with his wife and colleague Jane Riddoch they brought both wisdom and experience to experimental Psychology and the Medical school. Our thoughts are with Jane and their family,” it read.

The department has established a memorial webpage where those wishing to pay their tributes to Professor Humphreys can share their memories, where many former colleagues and pupils have written. 

Professor and Chair of Experimental Psychology David Clark wrote of Professor Humphreys, “Always available, always generous, always thoughtful and never pretentious, Glyn has been a transformative head of department […] Psychology has lost a brilliant experimentalist who also had that rare ability to consistently translate his findings into something that is a genuine help to patients. Thank you Glyn for showing so many of us a better way.” 

Professor of Developmental Nuropsychology Dorothy Bishop echoed these thoughts. “He was kind and considerate to everyone, and never showed any sign of self-importance despite being such a major figure in the field.

The whole department is in shock and is grieving the loss of a great psychologist,” she wrote.

Magdalena Chechlacz, a postdoctoral fellow who worked with and was supervised by Professor Humphreys, wrote of his ability as a teacher, “He was an incredibly kind, very generous and very patient teacher. 

“He had this amazing ability to impart his knowledge and experience without trying to change your individual way of seeing things.”

Andrew Olson, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Birmingham, noted that Humphreys was “incredibly supportive of students, young staff and international visitors, both personally and professionally.”

This sentiment has been reiterated in messages from those he knew all over the world. 

A memorial event for Dr. Humphreys will be held at Wolfson College on Saturday May 28.

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