We are deeply shocked by the sad news about Jim.

He was an outstanding demographer and a remarkable person whose visionary ideas how to progress in research and scientific collaboration have had a fundamental impact on demography, especially on European demography. Directly or indirectly, he has influenced research and professional choices of demographers at the Institute of Statistics and Demography (ISD) as we have taken advantage of the opportunities offered at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research to advance our research and to establish scientific contacts with scholars from other countries. Junior scientists have developed their research skills under the European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD). We have enjoyed working with Jim also due to our activities for the Population Europe and EDSD, especially when running two editions of EDSD at SGH (2013-2015) and working for the Scientific Board of the EDSD.

We are grateful for the privilege to meet him personally - an outstanding scientist and a great teacher, an open and friendly person bestowing particularly kindly attention on young demographers, who has inspired new thoughts and explorations. We will remember his youthful enthusiasm for innovative ideas how to develop research on population and strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation as well as his contributions to create supportive institutional arrangements in Europe.

We will try to pass what we have learned from him in our research, teaching and relevant efforts to strengthen the European research community.

We will miss him.