[visionlist] Colin Blakemore 1944-2022

Andrew Parker andrew.parker at dpag.ox.ac.uk
Thu Jun 30 16:03:24 -04 2022

We are very sorry to let the vision community know that one of our leading lights and genius spirits, Colin Blakemore, passed away on Monday 27th June. As many of you may already know, this was a consequence of motor neuron disease. Colin’s daughters were with him in the hospice around the time of his departure.

Colin was a person of many, many talents but was especially known to vision researchers for his work on binocular vision, its early developmental plasticity and the potential  consequence of errors of development for adult visual dysfunction, notably in the emergence of amblyopia. His interest in these topics continued throughout his career.

He made many scientific contributions over a wide field of neuroscience but will also be remembered for his passionate devotion to the cause of public understanding of science. He often appeared in radio or TV programmes to promote or explain new scientific findings. On occasions, he gave precise and unambiguous support for the necessity of studying physiology in experimental animals, public statements that sometimes incurred personal attacks.

Colin was generous with his time and energies, helping many others to develop and advance their own scientific work and careers. He became the longest-serving Waynflete Professor of Physiology at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford McDonnell Centre in Cognitive Neuroscience and held a period of office as Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council.

Much more will be written and said about Colin’s influence and achievements. We are sure that the many people who were close to him will wish to add their voices to this story over the coming weeks and months.

Andrew Parker

Tony Movshon

Ian Thompson

Zoltan Molnar


Andrew Parker, Professor of Neuroscience
Oxford University and St John’s College
andrew.parker at dpag.ox.ac.uk
Oxford Anatomy and Physiology ranked #1 in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2017, 2018, 2020 & 2021

Leibniz Institute Fellow and
Senior Researcher, IBIO
OVGU Magdeburg
andrew.parker at ovgu.de

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