Of course, it goes without saying that Jim’s work has strongly influenced me, and has been a constant inspiration over my career - all the way from being a Masters student.

The first time I met Jim, he came to a meeting in Oxford some ten years ago and we took the train to London together. I got myself in a bit of a panic. Here I am, a little postdoc working in quite a different corner of demography to Jim, thinking how I am going to talk to this famous scientist for an hour. What would I be able to say? I was convinced I would look like an idiot.

Well, you can guess what actually happened.

We chatted away as if we had known each other for years. He was genuinely interested in me and what I was working on. He was extremely open and frank about recent developments in demography. He was interesting, and interested. In that moment, he just seemed to me to be the ‘model scientist’. Of course, amazing at his job. But also patient, kind, funny, optimistic…everything you could ask for.

I will really miss him.