Tributes to Roger Silverstone

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Jennifer Silverstone and family are very grateful for all the heartfelt tributes received at this sad and difficult time.

The LSE has set up The Silverstone Fund in order to establish a fellowship in Roger's name.

Picture taken on 10th April 2006, Tel Aviv by Daniel Tchetchik

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Chris Armstrong - PhD Student - Wits University, Johannesburg

I feel very, very fortunate to have been in weekly seminars with Roger Silverstone at LSE in 2005-06. Roger inspired me with the incredibly wide range of his reading and knowledge, and with his enthusiasm for discussion of ideas -- his own ideas, the ideas of the people he had read, and the ideas of his students. Sincerely, and with great sadness.

Ayesha Abiola - Research Executive - Opinion Leader Research

I am very sorry to hear the sad news. Professor Silverstone had this awesome reputation.  In reading his books I knew why.  I would often re-read one of his sentences in admiration at the point that was being made, and by the almost lyrical way it had been constructed.   Listening to him lecture was an incredible experience. For one or two hours he talked fluently without notes and brought what could be quite complex issues to life with verve and, quite often, with humour.  And, in the few occasions I had cause to talk to him, he was also just a very warm and nice person. 

Ayira Ahmed - MSc Media and Communications - LSE 

It has saddened me immensely to hear that Roger Silverstone has passed away. He was a truly wonderful person, loved, respected and admired by all around him. When I look back at the wonderful time that I had whilst doing my masters at LSE, I have to attribute a large part of that to Professor Silverstone. Aside from inspiring all of us academically, he was a great friend, supportive, encouraging and always ready to lend an understanding ear, particularly through difficult times. I feel privileged to have known such a brilliant individual. We will all miss him very much.

Andrew Adamick - MSc Student - LSE

I just completed my graduate year in the LSE Media department last month.  While I didn't take a class with Roger and he wasn't my advisor, I still feel like I knew him.  He had a strong presence and was easily the most poised and respected faculty member during my time there.  I remember fellow students telling of going to his office hours with a research problem and then simply sitting there, dumbfounded, as Roger free-associated and expanded on their problems until the perfect solution materialized in front of them.  I would often catch myself thinking, "That sounds fantastic - I wish I had Roger as my advisor."  He made the students think they belonged at the LSE and that they could succeed.  Even I, who had very limited contact with him, could feel that.

I wish to extend my deepest condolences to Roger's family and friends.

Beatriz Angeles - Cátedra Humanitas - Mexico City, Mexico

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your beloved family. We are deeply sorry for your lost. For us, Roger will be always a cherish memory as a great teacher, writer, scholar and fantastic person. He is maybe gone but his ideas will be always a light to follow in so many aspects.

On behalf of all the academic community of the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México, please accept and extend our condolences to your son and daughter.

Tarik Ahmia -  Journalist, MA Graduate, Media Studies, Sussex University -  Berlin, Germany

There seems to be a certain irony to life that the finest people have to go first. Roger's passing away confirms this unfair experience and it makes me very sad. To me, he has been the most gifted, self-reflective and warm-hearted teacher I have ever met in the course of all my studies. Far beyond mere academic thinking, he was able to show his students a path to the real core of things. Roger was a wise man.

Roger was my mentor and advisor while I was writing my M.A. thesis at Sussex University. Although more than 10 years have passed, I have since experienced many incidents that made me think of him and about what he has taught me. He may have not been tall, but he was certainly a great man.

While working on my thesis with Rogers support, I have opened a chapter with a quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein. It was meant as a tribute to Rogers qualities as a teacher and human being: "Even when all the possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched."

Roger was able to address these problems of life and deliver many surprising answers. He made it all worthwhile. Roger will stay in my heart for the rest of my life.

Celia Aldana - Oxfam America - Lima, Peru

I met Roger when I did my Masters in Media Studies in the University of Sussex in 1996. As time went by, and I got to know him better and read his books I realized how lucky I was to have the opportunity of studying with him. He was so patient, and so open to different points of view. I specially remember one cold night of December, attending a party at his house in London, close to Victoria Station. In a Christmas that was particularly hard for me, so far away from my family, this was such a special gesture that I always remembered it with gratitude. And when I came back to Peru, and used what I learned with him, I was always very proud to say that he was my tutor.

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Professor Dr. Ulrich Beck - Institut für Soziologie, Germany

Polity Press asked me for an endorsement for Roger's book "Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis". I wished I had sent those sentences to Roger: 'What a wonderful book! A thoughtful and convincing narrative, theoretically enlightening, and explaining the necessary question: how is the mediatised cosmopolitan public sphere - the mediapolis - possible? A new Habermas! A new cosmopolitan critical theory of the emerging global civil society and its contradictions.'  I lost a great colleague and a wonderful friend.

Dr Liz Barnett  - Director, LSE Teaching and Learning Centre

I was very sad to hear of Roger's untimely death. I very much appreciated his wry humour, and his considerate support for the work of my unit. I did not know him well, but what I knew of him I enjoyed! I'm sure many will miss him - I know I will.

Charlie Beckett - Director, Polis, Journalism and Society at the LSE and the London College of Communication

I came to the LSE to create POLIS, the journalism and society forum that had been Roger's visionary idea for the last five years or so. His charm, wit, insight and passion for the role that good journalism can play in a mediated world inspired me. He was, to choose a journalistic cliché, "an operator", a man who made very good things happen. He was also a superb talker, be it about his grandchildren or theories of reportage - constantly engaging and always stimulating. I have only known Roger for six months but he has altered my life for the better, as he has done for so many more in the past.

Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach - University of Southern California - USA

I last saw Roger at the International Communication Association meetings in Dresden - not even a month ago. Roger served as the respondent to a theme panel of papers presented by my research group. His commentary on the papers captures his keen mind and generosity of spirit. He critically reviewed each paper in a way that revealed his intellect and his compassionate appreciation of the hard work of the research enterprise. Two doctoral students and I also picked Roger's brain over breakfast with regard to book we are developing. His friendship and collegiality came through as he gave us cause to question our framing of the book theme, while, at the same time, encouraging our effort. Roger is thus a major loss for my research group, and me. I know that this is the case beyond our parochial endeavours. Roger was a builder as evident in the fine LSE communication studies program that he developed, the many research projects he fostered in the European Community, and our joint LSE and Annenberg graduate program in global communication. Roger was a good friend who carried his professional integrity into his personal relations.

Nick Byrne - Head LSE Language Centre

Roger was one of the most accessible & friendly academics at LSE. He was a pleasure to talk to and I always enjoyed exchanging a conspiratorial smile across the table at low points during academic meetings. I spoke to him recently about plans for doing more work with the Language Centre, and I am so shocked to realise now that the lunch date we were going to arrange in September will now never happen. He was an asset to LSE, his department and to the world of Media. It is an enormous loss to us all.

Professor Jo Beall - Director of Development Studies Institute - LSE

It was with great shock and much sadness that we in DESTIN learned of the untimely death of Roger Silverstone. The warmest of colleagues and intellectually inspiring, we in the Institute anticipated with much pleasure, working with him on developing a proposed joint masters degree in Media and Development. His loss will be felt by us deeply. Our wishes to his family and colleagues at this sad time.  

Isadora Bryden - International Relations Manager - Assistant Director; Richard Descoings, Director; Francis Verillaud, Deputy Director for International Relations; Christian Lequesne, LSE Alliance Professor - Sciences Po Paris

It is with deep shock and extreme sadness that we have heard about the sudden death of Professor Silverstone. He has always shown a strong emphasis in strengthening the links between our two institutions.  His work will definitely leads its mark in the field of media and communication and we will sorely miss him. His passing leaves a painful void. We will always bear in mind his laughter, his infectious sense of humour and the freedom of his spirit. We offer our very best sympathy to his whole family. Best regards.

Cathy Baldwin - PhD Student, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology - University of Oxford

I met Roger Silverstone a few times and kept in touch with him to talk about my PhD project which took an ethnographic approach to media audience reception studies, as did his work. He was very encouraging about my plan to spend time as a visiting researcher in the LSE media department. The first time I saw him convene a departmental seminar and during conversations on subsequent occasions, I registered him as a rare gem and a kindred spirit. He was a great academic: wrote clearly and accessibly about interesting things, he was a dynamic communicator and people-shaker, he seemed a genuinely lovely person and was very supportive in a personal capacity in the limited contact we had. He combined being a nice, down-to-earth ordinary guy with being a top academic mover-and-shaker, a personal combination which is hard to find. I will very much miss the opportunity to work with him in the future and pass on greatest condolences to all those who were close to him.

Arianna Bassoli - PhD student, Media and Communications - LSE

Although I did not get the chance to know Roger very well, I am deeply touched by his loss. He was one of the most brilliant, human and modest academics I've ever met. I truly believe the academic world will deeply miss Roger's presence and contribution, especially those of us who are LSE students and staff. From a personal level the exchanges I had with him always enriched me and inspired me profoundly. He was an amazing person. I cannot imagine a Media and Communications department without Roger.

Dr. Maria Bakardjieva - Associate Professor - University of Calgary

I am deeply saddened by the loss of a wonderful thinker, teacher and colleague. Roger's work has been an inspiration and a guiding light for me, among many other researchers. He has supported me on various occasions, for which I have been and remain deeply grateful. I can only imagine how his sudden passing has affected his family and the people who have worked with him directly and on daily basis. To all of them I offer my sincere condolences. Your sorrow is shared by the whole community of media researchers who valued the philosophical and humanistic insights brought to our field by Roger Silverstone. Roger, the generous colleague and kind man will always be an example to all of us.

Daniel Biltereyst

I am very shocked by the news about Roger. What a very big loss for our little community of media scholars for whom Roger Silverstone what a rock.

David Brake - PhD Student - LSE

He was, of course, a man of considerable academic achievement and intellectual subtlety and was therefore naturally in great demand. Despite this, he was always friendly, approachable and willing to help those of us who called on him for advice. His contributions and his steadying presence in the department will be sorely missed.

Niall Brennan - PhD Student - LSE

About mid-way through the year, during a supervisor meeting with Roger, as I was stumbling through ideas and theories and attempting to articulate my research question, Roger stood up and proclaimed "Now we're finally getting somewhere!". I knew we were, too, from Roger's excitement and the way he sat down, then moved to a new chair, then moved to another new chair, then another one, when he was excited about something. I think in that proclamation there is so much of Roger: encouragement, optimism, patience, humour, confidence, challenge, wit; the intellectual, guide, mentor, father figure, friend, shrink. I think in that proclamation I will always remember Roger. It's impossible to fathom finally getting anywhere without Roger, but I know he'd have it differently and somehow I, we, will get somewhere. Sadly, without Roger, but always in memory of and tribute to his spirit. Roger is profoundly missed and always will be. To finally get somewhere is the least I can do to fill the void his absence creates.

Giulio del Bufalo - MSc Student - LSE

Unfortunately I didn't know professor Silverstone well, but I consider myself very lucky to have been able to speak to him and to be taught by him. I will never forget his mild manner, his sense of humour, and his soothing tone of voice, which made every lecture he gave a treat for all of us. He was and always will be an inspiration.

My condolences and thoughts go to his family and friends.

Anat Balint -Tokyo

In memory of Prof. Roger Silverstone

My last meeting with Prof. Roger Silverstone was just three months ago, when he came to Israel to celebrate the Hebrew version of his book "Why Study the Media?". This was the 10th translation of this book to a foreign language, but Roger did not hide his special excitement over this one. Many years past since his last visit to Israel, so he told me, but still everything in this country felt so familiar to him.

It was not summer yet, but the sun was already hitting hard on our heads as we were having breakfast. I could see my British guest was becoming reddish as our conversation went on. I suggested gently that we move to the shade, but Roger refused. It felt like he simply enjoyed the burning sun over his head.

In a quite short meeting we managed to touch many subjects - the new translation of his book, his future plans for the department, the state of the profession of journalism, his Jewish identity, my research topic for the PhD. I was supposed to start my PhD studies under his supervision this coming October.

Although we shared similar pessimistic analysis regarding the deep crisis journalism is going through all over the world, there was nothing pessimistic in his vision for the future. It was exactly the opposite: he was enthusiastic about his plans for the LSE in this regard. He wanted to promote professional journalism as well as academic research and public debate on this issue and had clear ideas regarding the ways to fulfil these goals. I was following his gestures while he was speaking: his vibrant eyes, the little smile that revealed some shyness, his talk that could be soft and ironic at the same time. There was so much vividness and passion the way he talked, I couldn't avoid thinking I'm looking at a happy man. His enthusiasm for his work made me happy of the opportunity to start working with him in just a short while.

I am now in Tokyo and was struck by the news of his sudden death, as everyone else. It is truly heart breaking. Nothing of my memory of Roger can be connected to death. I simply find my self in the last days in deep sadness, going back again and again to the memory of our last meeting that was so much alive.

Kate Bevan  - Wythenshawe Fm Community Radio - UK

I have just learned of Roger's death and wish to pass my condolences to his family and close friends. Roger's early work led me to work which eventually formed my post-grad research and many a topical debate with my students! He will be sadly missed.

Jean-Claude Burgelman - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies - Spain

Dear all Roger was a great scholar who inspired a lot of younger colleagues, an honest intellectual and most of all a good man. During the years we worked together we discussed a lot where communication studies had to go and what we wanted to do apart from that. The conclusion inevitably was we had such a long way ahead of us (to quote A. Brink) and our life would be too short to realise all our plans and dreams.

But not that short...

I wish we had worked more together and spent more time discussing that road ahead.

Catherine Bennett - Departmental Manager, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

It is only now that Roger is not here that I realise just how often I laughed with him.  An excellent colleague and a great person to work with.  He  will be greatly missed.

Evangelia Berdou - PhD candidate, Department of Media and Communications - LSE.

One of Roger's favourite questions and the first he usually asked after a student's presentation in our research seminar was: So What? Why do we need to care about your research? This apparently simple question often raised an awkward silence. Those of us who knew him came prepared with an answer (not necessarily a brilliant one, but still). Roger had a knack of zeroing on the most important aspects of our research, even in the case of students, like myself, that he did not directly supervise.

His insights into our work always meant to push us further, to challenge us to think beyond the obvious. He certainly did not mince his words when he thought that we were not on the right path or that our ideas simply did not work. But this side of his was always tempered by his wit, unwavering support and generosity.

The department and our lives will never be the same without him.

Saphina Benimadhu - MSc Media and Communications (2005),  Department of Media and Communications - LSE

Roger was one of the big attractions to doing my MSc in Media & Communications at the LSE. He did not disappoint. From our very first meeting at the class induction, the words he spoke, in his soft yet serious tone, captivated me, igniting an energy that would inspire me and literally help get me through my Masters. His was a formidable presence.

As the year went on I had the opportunity to know Roger's many tones: friendly, ironic, supportive, amusing and passionate, among others. His words were precise and delivered in a way that made you hang on for more. Roger was capable of making even research methods a pleasure to attend. His intellect and warmth will be missed. Although his life and mine overlapped only briefly, I am deeply thankful for the inspiration that will remain with me always.

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Manuel Castells

Roger Silverstone is a cornerstone of research and thinking in communication studies, one of the most decisive fields of academic inquiry in our world. And I say he is, because his work remains with us, with our students, and in our minds. As remains his engaging personality, his ethical attitude, and his commitment to the values of the university. I will miss him very much, but I will also have him very present in my work and memory until the moment I will join him.

Dr Nick Couldry - Reader, Media and Communications - LSE

Roger was a huge intellectual presence whose extraordinary energy, rich imagination and profound humanity inspired all who knew him. 

I was lucky to have known Roger for eight years, most intensely for six. For me, the richness of his work was from my early days of research a vital talisman, providing much needed encouragement to face questions others seemed to avoid. I came to LSE above all to work with him. 

Everything he did was marked not only by intense professionalism, but an acute and often mischievous sense of humour. Instead of confining himself to a narrow specialism, his enthusiasms seemed to encompass the whole field of media research, indeed going far beyond. As an embodiment of humanism in academic work - impassioned, rigorous, bold both in style and thought yet always modest about his own achievements - he was irreplaceable.

In recent years Roger had turned to questions of ethics and morality in media. This was much more than an academic choice: for him it was a considered way of addressing media's role in an increasingly dangerous and fractured world, and as such a moral choice and responsibility for those with the privilege of writing and being heard.  

In this and so many other things, he was truly primus inter pares.

Dr Bart Cammaerts - Lecturer, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

In his long, but unfortunately abruptly ended, career Roger touched, influenced and had an impact on many people's lives. Besides a brilliant and eloquent academic, Roger was (and it saddens me intensely to have to use past tense) also a warm person endowed with an energetic drive and above all a witty sense of humour. That is how I will remember him. I got to know Roger personally through the EMTEL-network and later during a post-doc at the LSE. He always respected me for who I am and this, amongst others, made me decide to apply for a lectureship. Like many others, I'm deeply touched and shocked by his sudden death. I vividly remember him outlining his many plans for the future during our last away day and it is profoundly sad that he won't be able to put these into reality.

To his family I would like to convey my sincere condolences. I lost my father pre-maturely in 1999, without having had the opportunity to say goodbye. No one life is comparable to the other, but I can imagine that you must also feel a deep pain and a sense of powerlessness at what happened. I leave you with a translated extract of what I wrote at the time of his death:

'It's a cliché, but words fail on moments like these. Emotions flow and however hard we try they do not let themselves be caged by rationality. Now the time has come to say farewell, not only of a great person, but as much of the many questions that all start with 'Why?'.

With deep sympathy.

Professor Craig Clunas, FBA - Percival David Professor of Chinese and East Asian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, SOAS

I'd like to record a few memories of Roger Silverstone, my former colleague at Sussex, whose sudden passing is a great loss. I shall remember Roger for his intellectual breadth and curiosity, his kindness to colleagues and his care for his students. He was to me a model of academic leadership and an inspiration as to how to keep engaged without becoming jaded. Sincerest condolences to his family, colleagues and students.

Gwendolyn Carpenter - eGovernment expert - OECD, Paris

Roger was my supervisor for my dissertation in the summer of 2002, and I would not want to comment on who was more thick-headed - him or me. Looking back, I grin at the memory of the heated discussions we had in his office on whether or not my methodological approach would provide any evidence base or not. I dare say, in retrospect I have the feeling that we even respected each other for the similar stubbornness.

So, shocked by his early passing on, I wish I had told him in his living years:

  1. What he meant to me and how much I appreciated his mix of ethnographic description and policy/business relevance, his amazing talent to combine complexity with showmastery and most of all his fast analytical sharpness.
  2. What I have been up to - the LSE ticket even allowed the entrance to the OECD where everyday life studies now inform the e-government framework, thus still true to my new media/Internet focus.
  3. And how much I liked his wearing campers to suits, his laugh and the twinkle in his eye - so full of humanness, kindness, and spirit.

Strange to know that the door has closed on his farewell remark to me, which was to say: "You will be back for a PhD, Gwen, I promise". He deserves more than a quote, but as I now have another star to laugh with, when I am in need of my kind masters, I find this so appropriate...

"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.
For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"
"What are you trying to say?"
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night . . . You--only you--will have stars that can laugh!"

Le Petit Prince

My deepest condolences of course foremost go to his family, but also to his colleagues, students and friends. I hope it's a little comfort to know, how much of him lives on all over the world.

Paulina Chow-White - Doctoral Candidate & Lecturer, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California

I was very saddened by the news of Roger.  I'm very sorry for this incredible loss to the LSE community.  I understand he died of a heart attack.  It really seems so unfair doesn't it?  I just saw a picture of him in an LSE alumni magazine - was probably even looking at it on the day he passed although I didn't know it at the time.

I'm in the midst of a move from LA to SFU (Vancouver) and in preparing to leave, I had been thinking a lot about all the people who've made a difference to me since I moved from Vancouver to London and then LA six years ago, and Roger had come to mind several times during the last week.  I was and still am shocked to hear the news.

In the years I have known Roger, I've had some heated and peaceful moments with him and he gained my esteem with each interaction. I remember his humour, how he always seemed to be able to make one feel as if she had been taken seriously, but how at the same time he was able to make light of a situation and remind you how one should never take life too seriously.  I still smile when I think of the time when I was telling him a story about how difficult my mother could be and he laughed at how my overbearing Chinese mother sounded so much like his own stereotypical Jewish mother.

I also remember if it weren't for him I might not have finished my MSc, not to mention go on with a PhD.  And finally, I remember how on some days he could lighten up one's day, how he could somehow make a dreary London afternoon exciting, which is no easy task.  I  remember how energized and energizing Roger was on the afternoon he lectured on Postmodernism, similacra, and Baudrillard in his crisp black dress shirt and bowler shoes.  We all gathered in the hallway after that, the first cohort of the MSc Global Media programme, and commented on how we were finally getting our money's worth out of the LSE.  How different my thinking back then.

The last time I saw him was four years ago, a group of us were strolling down Colorado on a warm and sparkly California night with Patti Riley in the lead.  Roger was asking me about the new things I was learning at USC and we were talking about rhetoric and Kenneth Burke.  I always regretted not asking him to lunch when he was in town again last year - I had my hands full with Finlay, who was a newborn at the time (I remember Roger had a baby when he was doing his PhD as well, did he not?).  Anyhow, I wanted to thank him, to let him know how I felt, to tell him how he had made a difference in my life (I don't think he had any idea), and to thank him for supervising my Masters dissertation, but somehow I figured there would be time for that.  He was always someone I thought I'd see again.   Perhaps that is why I feel the need to share my feelings and memories with those of you who knew Roger.  I'm sorry if any of this comes across as inappropriate in any way.

Roger's passing brings to mind the fitting of the saying, only the good die young.  In the most up to date picture on the website, Roger looks happy, doesn't he?  For me, it captures his humour which is a very lovely way of remembering him. When my own father passed, I wanted to hear everything I could about him - how he interacted with others and how the world thought and felt about him.  My deepest condolences go to his family, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School - Denmark  

I remember that when I had first read 'Why study the media' I thought: this is what Hannah Arendt means when she talks about 'worldliness'. I had never personalised that quality before and I had always found 'worldliness' a characteristically difficult term to grasp. Until 'Why study the media'. Roger had it: this quality of the truly public man, deeply humane, emotional and passionate about life and politics and, at the same time, always taking the 'proper distance'- measured, rational and sharply critical. Arendt thought this species was extinct in our times, but Roger was a rare exception.

I was also lucky to read 'Media and Morality' and discuss it with Roger before its publication. This is the 'worldliest' of Roger's work. It does not simply set a new agenda for media scholarship. It gives us a vision and a vocabulary to talk about how we can live together under conditions of mediated proximity but also cultural difference and political conflict. 'How can we know what to do?' is Roger's starting point but also the last sentence of his concluding chapter. Roger addresses this question in ways that we have not been able to articulate before.

The pain for having lost Roger as a scholar and as an intellectual soul-mate is a private feeling, very hard to comfort. But his own 'worldliness' somehow makes it possible to cope with this loss. He leaves a legacy for those who share his cosmopolitan vision: to 'study the media', to reflect on our lives and on those of far away others and to act on them with responsibility and care. In such work, Roger will always be fully present.

Tyler N. Cavell - President, International Distribution & Editorial - The Internet Broadcast Corp

I was an MSc student of Professor Silverstone's.  It was an honour to be his student.  In fact, Professor Silverstone's influenced me to start a global internet broadcast company: ibctoday.

Professor Silverstone will always be in my heart and mind.

Warm regards.

Gabriella Cattaneo - Director, Expertise Center Competitiveness & Innovation Policies & Strategies - Milan, Italy

I find out now about the passing away of Roger Silverstone and I really wish to express my regret. I had occasion to work with him in the past, not recently but I have fond memories of his friendship, his easy way to communicate and to work with colleagues. I learned a lot from him (for example his concept of "domesticating technologies") and I deeply admired not only his research but also his clear and captivating writing skills.

M Saifullah Chaudhry - Media and Communication Programme, LSE 1999-2000. Now Senior Programme Officer, International Labour Organization, Islamabad - Pakistan

It was shocking to read about the sad and untimely demise of our learned Professor, Mr Roger Silverstone

I had the privilege of being student of Mr. Roger Silverstone during 1999-00 as a post graduate student of Media Programme at LSE.

It was always a treat to listen to his informative lectures encouraging all of us to further sharpen our facilities of reason and logic. They way he used to explain the shenanigans of media and all that go along with it, would not only make things a lot more easier but also push to go deeper in our analysis. His command of the subject, and ability to communicate with a divers group of us - coming from across the globe - was admirable.

Above all he was a good soul with a tender heart.

I would like to express my condolences with Rogers families and friends. May God rest his soul in peace and give courage to members of bereaved family members.

Best Wishes

D

Howard Davies - Director - LSE

It is with deep shock that the School learned about the death of Professor Roger Silverstone, convenor of the Department of Media and Communications. He was one of the pillars of the School community, and will be sorely missed by all of us

Daniel Dayan & Rachel Rosenblum  

To Jennifer Silverstone. A tribute to Roger

Dear Jennifer. Just a little note to tell you about our shock, and how Rachel and I miss Roger. Just recently Roger told me he felt great, that he was finishing a book, but that he also worried at the perspective of undergoing a new round of hospitalization and surgery. He seemed so calm and so energetic that I did not realize he had every reason to worry. Rachel and I are still in shock at the idea he is no longer here with us, and with you. What we'll miss most is his intellectual curiosity and his (and your) generous sense of hospitality. I first heard of him as an influential writer, admired by the most respected members of our profession. (I remember a long conversation about him with the Argentinean semiotician Eliseo Veron). I finally met Roger at a conference at the Sorbonne and discovered his original approach to media studies. I admired his non-conformist way of opening the field to unexpected concerns and to new questions. Initiating an ethical turn or introducing a Winnicottian perspective were far from being obvious choices when he made them. Imposing such choices required authority, and an immense writing talent . I feel privileged to have been one of Roger's friends from across the channel ; to have been invited to lecture (at Sussex, at LSE. ) and to have been recruited for the new project he was in the process of putting together. We never collaborated, yet I am proud to have been indirectly involved in his writing, both as an editor (I published one of his most recent papers), as a reviewer (of one of his manuscripts). Roger's strong, soft spoken presence will be missed. What he leaves behind is less a detailed agenda, than a moral injunction and a feeling of urgency. The lesson he gave us is that Media scholars are not only experts but intellectuals, and that intellectuals cannot escape questions of ethics, nor delegate them to ready-made narratives.

With love, from Rachel and me.

Reka De Komaromy - MSc Student LSE

I only recently read in the LSE Alumni magazine about Prof Silverstone passing away and I was greatly saddened. I was in his class in 2000/2001 and he was my favourite lecturer. He was very good at reassuring me when I had 'essay' panics and I would always come away feeling I can write a good essay and laughing at how much I worried. The whole class loved him and his lectures were fun, intelligent and engaging and made me want to study harder for his classes. I remember with fondness how he took the whole class out for a drink in the LSE bar at the end of term before the exams and we all had such a fun time. Roger always had time for his students and he always had a sense of fun and positive energy about him. Though he is not here in person his memory lives strong and will not be forgotten. Roger had a special sparkle and he is irreplaceable.

Roberto Dominguez - Cátedra Humanitas - Mexico City, Mexico

Dear Jennifer:

Our thoughts and prayer are with you and your beloved family. We are deeply sorry for your lost. For us, Roger will be always a cherish memory as a great teacher, writer, scholar and fantastic person. He is maybe gone but his ideas will be always a light to follow in so many aspects.

On behalf of all the academic community of the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México, please accept and extend our condolences to your son and daughter.

Stephi Hemelryk Donald - Professor of International Studies, Director: Institute for International Studies - UTS, Sydney

Roger was an excellent friend to students at Sussex. As a postgraduate there I remember his kindness and clarity very well. One of his more recent LSE students is joining us here in Australia on a studentship next month. We will look after her.

Nigel Dodd - Department of Sociology  LSE

I was one of Roger's students during his Brunel years, and I would certainly say that he was a major influence on my education and career. He was a tremendously enthusiastic and challenging teacher, and invariably thoughtful and kind. I found him very open intellectually: he had his passions (these, of course, made him interesting) but he didn't impose them, and one always felt that he welcomed one's own idiosyncrasies. As with all good teachers, you would always leave his lectures and seminars wanting to read. I felt very privileged to be one of his colleagues fifteen years later. He was just as energetic (if not more so) as I had remembered - and just as thoughtful. That he became such a strong and influential figure at the School in such a relatively short period of time is a tribute in itself. But when I remember Roger, it will be primarily as a teacher. He could be inspiring, funny, and provocative - and you never knew which of these qualities would come to the fore on any given day. Neither did he, I suspect.

Sally Davis

Roger had a remarkable generosity of spirit and mind. He was willing to encompass and engage all parts of the community in seeking a richness of view and in challenging the accepted norms. This is sad news. He will be missed.

Rishi Dastidar - MSc Student - LSE

I just wanted to record my shock and sorrow at the news of Roger's passing. It was as only a few weeks ago that I saw him in fine fettle, with customary elegance chairing a session of Meet the Media.

Although not directly taught by him, I benefited from his thoughts and ideas: my copy of 'Why Study The Media?' was one of the more regularly-thumbed tomes during my year on Houghton Street. And rarer still, time in his lectures was neither inert nor wasted: with lightness, charm and good humour, he guided us through the wider edges of the theory and practice of media, treating his subjects with seriousness - never a misplaced reverence - and insight. It was a pleasure to be in those lectures with him.

His leadership of the department, as it became under his stewardship, was always visible, but despite the pressures on his time one got the feeling that his door would always be open if you needed to talk over an essay, a thought or an idea.

He will be greatly missed, and my condolences to his family and friends.

Phillip Drummond

I would like to extend my sincere condolences, first to his family and then to his colleagues, on Roger's sudden passing. I first met Roger at a dinner party in (I think) the mid-80s, when he was at Brunel. Roger was wonderful company: he simply dazzled us with his flair and wit and 'style'. I next caught up with him when he gave a magical plenary address to a media studies conference in Manchester, but it was hard to convince him afterwards of just how brilliant his performance had been. After that I watched with admiration from a distance as he powered his way, with telling and prolific output, to the very top of his profession. He was a great scholar, and a delightful man, and his is a terrible loss, at far too early a moment, for the field which he did so much to build.

Bill Dutton -  Oxford Internet Institute, and a former Director of the UK Programme on Information and Communication Technologies - Oxford

Roger Silverstone was a major figure in shaping our understanding of the social role of the media. He will be most often remembered for his work on television and everyday life. However, he made outstanding contributions to the study of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) like the personal computer in households, including his useful transfer of his concept of 'domestication' from the study of television to the study of emerging technologies. Also, while at Brunel University, his leadership helped establish one of the first centres within the UK's ten-year Programme on Information and Communication Technologies (PICT). His ability to develop successful academic programmes was demonstrated well beyond PICT, such as in fostering innovative programmes at Sussex and then at the LSE, as well as creative international collaborations, such as the joint degree with the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Roger, particularly during the last years of PICT, when he helped shape the synthesis of this research programme. Roger Silverstone will continue to command the respect of colleagues around the world.

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Prof John Ellis -  Head of Media Arts Department, Royal Holloway University of London,

I really miss Roger, both as a person and as a textual presence. I met him last just a week or so before his tragic death. He was as wise and as gentle as ever. I met him first when he was pioneering holistic approaches to understanding media consumption at Brunel University. Then I experienced his infectious enthusiasm, and passion simply to understand the complexities of human life. His work has been consistently inspiring to me, as to so many others. But above all, Roger was someone whom it was always a genuine pleasure to meet.

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Shereen Flaxman (nee Whittaker, BA (Hons) Media Studies with French 1992 -1996)

I began my degree at Sussex university in 1992, I believe a year after Professor Silverstone began there himself. He left a lasting impression on me, a very dignified, quiet man with a sparkle and such inspiring intelligence. It was such a shock to read of his passing in my Alumni magazine and I feel so very sad for his friends and family.

Prof. dr. Valerie A.J. Frissen - Head department ICT & Policy, TNO  ICT and Social Change Chair - Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dear Jennifer and family, friends and colleagues,

It was a big shock to hear about Roger passing away a few days ago. The news has left me very sad and somehow lost, as I have always seen Roger as my own personal teacher, although I am not sure that he was aware of this. The latter makes me even more sad, as this sudden lost has made me painfully aware that I should have told him..

I first met Roger when I was a PHD-student during a memorable conference in Copenhagen (The Home Oriented Informatics and Telematics Conference) somewhere in in the early 90s. At this conference strangely enough many ex-hippies seemed to have gathered, possibly because they assumed that this new virtual world, called cyberspace, could be the new kind of psychedelic drug they were looking for. I also remember that Leslie Haddon - the inseparable half of Roger in that period - whom I also met there-  was sleeping in the Virtual Home Lab (or something like that). We have made Leslie quite nervous by claiming that the videos taken during his stay were probably used as research material and were therefore spread  through the research community over the internet. 

In later meetings quite a few times we talked again about this peculiar conference, and Roger usually reminded me in his own subtle and charming way that he particularly remembered my quite bold - if he was not so nice he would have said impertinent (my own interpretation) -  intervention after he gave a talk at this conference. The Dutch are famous for this direct approach, which is, I have learned by now,  not the most charming part of our national character. In spite of my behaviour, we got together for very nice lunches and dinners with some of the people who later became part of the EMTEL-network (Leslie, Jean Claude, Yves, Ann Jorun). These informal meetings preluded the fun and joie de vivre which was characteristic for the EMTEL-networks, of which I became a member. Roger was without doubt the great inspirator of the sparkling and sophisticated debates we had during the many EMTEL-meetings. But, just as important, he also inspired the relaxed and joyful atmosphere of these meetings Quite a few times our husbands/wives/partners joined these meetings - as Jennifer did - and shared the good spirit.

After two releases the EMTEL-network has regretfully stopped (at least as a formal network). I still miss these meetings and particularly Rogers delicate and erudite comments which for me  were always food for thought in the aftermath of these meetings. His insights were often surprising, as every time he seemed to bring in a new thought or refreshing angle. In my everyday working life I still build on these insights. I am now partly working as a policy advisor and partly as an academic. In both worlds the domestication perspective has become well known and influential and I am proud to have been able to contribute to this.

I wish you strength in dealing with this terrible loss.

Gareth Furby - MSc Media and Communications - LSE

He was fine man, an inspirational supervisor, an outstanding lecturer

Jane Scannell Fleming - SSRC Student, Brunel 1979

Roger was my first Research Tutor at Brunel. I had applied for and received an SSRC scholarship to study documentary narrative for an MA/PhD. I regret I did not turn my work into book form. Roger will always be in my mind, he was an inspiring tutor and lecturer and a dear friend. I shall miss him.

G

Marie Gillespie - Open University

I just wanted to express my great sadness at Roger's death. He was my PhD supervisor at Brunel University (1989-1992) and we have kept in touch ever since. Roger was always pleasant, kind and supportive to me. I saw him only a few weeks ago in Dresden at a conference and, as usual, he was full of energy, buzzing with ideas, making plans about his next project (on Al Jazeera on which we were going to collaborate). How sad and what a shock it was to hear the news that his life had been cut short so suddenly. He has left behind him a remarkable legacy of work and a network of scholars indebted to him. He has contributed to our reaching deeper levels of understanding of the complex, subtle and often profound ways that media affect our psychic and social life. His may have passed on but his open, sensitive face, and his kind and friendly smile, like his work, will not be forgotten. I hope his wife and family, of whom he always talked so lovingly, will find consolation in the respect and affection he inspired.

Gordon Gow - Associate Professor, Faculty of Extension, Graduate Program in Communications and Technology, University of Alberta  Canada

I had the good fortune to work closely with Professor Silverstone during my time as Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the LSE. His boundless enthusiasm was contagious, his intellectual prowess admirable, and his kindness and humanity without equal among those I have come to know in the academy.

The extent of our loss in Roger's death is immense. While we do have the benefit of knowing his recent thoughts in the book that will be soon published, there must have been so much more to come. And in an age when the media play a defining role in politics, in culture, and in morality, Roger's absence will be felt far and wide.

Myria Georgiou, Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds University

It's been ten years since I first met Roger. To my apologetic late arrival at that first meeting he jokingly replied: 'That's ok. I've had many Greek students'. I smiled feeling I could breathe again. Since then, we worked closely together in different capacities. I was his first student to get a PhD from Media@LSE. We then collaborated in a cross-European study of diasporic media, an area we shared a passion for. After almost three years of head scratching, chair-swivelling through brainstorming sessions, joking about the media and food and travel, we produced a study we were both proud of. Only recently we worked together on a research proposal on mediated cosmopolitan cities. Once again, he showed excitement and the inspiring reflection that taught me so much through the years. When I last saw him at the ICA Dresden conference he humbly thanked me for the acknowledgements in my book, saying 'You didn't have to'. That was the least I could do, I said. To the most inspirational scholar I've ever met, that's indeed the least I could offer. I am privileged to have known him and to have worked with him.

Claire Geddie - MSc Student - LSE

I was shocked and saddened to read of Roger Silverstone's passing. I was one of the lucky LSE MSc students to benefit from his guidance during my thesis project and process in 2002-2003. His enthusiasm was infectious, his wit and his kindness all too evident. His dynamism and leadership will be sorely missed.

Kevin Guidoni - MSc Media and Communications - LSE

Roger was my supervisor while studying for the MSc Media and Communications course in 2005/6 .

"I've lost a star...I've lost Roger Silverstone..."

Nils Go - MSc Student - LSE

Roger was my dissertation supervisor this year. His enthusiasm for my chosen topic, willingness to explore threads of theory that he was not an expert of, and his calm professionalism made my appointments with him something to look forward to. In meeting and working with Roger, it was wonderful to find that the many intelligent texts that I had referenced throughout my academic career had come from a man that was still hungry to learn, argue and debate issues within Media Studies rather than someone living off their reputation.

I am deeply shocked and saddened that Roger will not get an opportunity to see my completed dissertation to which he has made such a valuable contribution and the outcome of which he was looking forward to, though I will look back with great fondness at the limited time I was able to spend with him.

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Professor Olivia Harris - on behalf of the Anthropology Department - LSE

Roger's subtle and imaginative scholarship touched me long before I came to the LSE. What a delight it was to discover in Convenors' meetings that he was also a gentle and thoughtful person with an impish sense of humour. In shock and with deep respect.

Professor Tom Hollihan - University of Southern California, Annenberg - USA

I cannot express how deeply saddened I am to learn of Roger's death. I only came to know Roger within the past five years, but in that time he became a very dear friend. I will never forget his mischievous grin, his twinkling eyes, and his sharp wit. He was always the gracious host and companion. We talked at length about politics, the arts, and the discipline of communication, but Roger's favourite topic of conversation was always his family and especially his grandchildren.

I saw Roger last only a few weeks ago in Dresden at the ICA Conference when he and I were both respondents on the same panel. His response was well thought out, delivered with enthusiasm and passion, and showed so much sensitivity to the feelings of the authors that I will never forget it. In Dresden, Roger was cheerful and brimming with confidence about the future. He seemed to have fully recovered his health from his very traumatic illness. It is almost impossible for me to understand that he is now gone and that I will not have another opportunity to share a dinner and a nice bottle of wine with him.

Roger was and exceptional scholar and teacher, but most of all I think he was an exceptionally humane and caring man. My heart goes out to Jennifer and his family as well as to his friends, colleagues and students at the LSE. We all share in this loss, but his memory will live on in the accomplishments of the many whom he loved, taught, and inspired. With deepest sympathy.

Professor Stewart M. Hoover - Center for Media, Religion and Culture, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado - USA

These lines are very hard to write. I had just seen Roger at ICA in June, and we had talked about a number of things, including his health, and he was upbeat about so much. As he always was. That makes it even more of a shock.

Just now, as I was revising a book chapter dealing with "the new audience research," I saw again what we all know: how absolutely influential Roger has been in the form and shape of media studies over the past three decades. His work was always intelligent, subtle, articulate, synthetic, and provocative. It was the sort of thinking that informs and provokes, and is a foundation for others' work. He wrote in the way that he worked: with great generosity and open-ness.

He was an always generous mentor, colleague, and friend to me. We shared a common bond having both been passed over for inclusion in the publication of a symposium we attended in the '80s. That linked us early on, and we began a conversation that has lasted nearly twenty years, one that we deepened during my recent residency at LSE.

Having been there, and part of the LSE community, I have a keener sense of how and how deeply my many friends there are feeling this loss. Many of us, near and far, share that sense. We have lost an important scholar, but we have also lost a great friend and colleague.

Caroline Howarth

Like many others, Roger Silverstone had a great impact on my work and ideas. When I was a somewhat anxious PhD student wanting to include media representations in my research and uncertain how to go about it, Roger not only gave me sound advice which strengthened my research no end, but he was also so constructive and approachable that I felt encouraged by him and much more confident in my own ideas. Now teaching myself, I can see that this is greatest gift to a student: confidence. I am in great debt to Roger for this and shall sorely miss him.

 

Simon Howell - Company Secretary - UBC Media Group plc

The sad news of Roger's death was a great shock to all of us at UBC.  Roger had worked closely with UBC for a number of years and he was a good friend to many of us here. He contributed enormously to the development of our business and we gained greatly from his expertise and insight. He wore his knowledge lightly and he had a lovely, gentle sense of humour. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Pat Hannon - Lecturer in Radio, DIT Ireland

It is with sadness and shock that I learn of Rogers passing. Roger's book, Framing Science made a lasting impression on me as a student. It reported and captured the making of the BBC's Horizon series. As a study in ethnography with the media, it has never been equalled. I have admired his engaging work ever since.

Sincere sympathies.

The Harmon family 

To Jennifer, Daniel and family.  All our sympathies and thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Kindest Regards

Maren Hartmann - Lecturer - University of Bremen, Germany

I have been meaning to write to this page for a few days now, but simply could not face it. Writing these lines implies an acceptance that Roger is indeed dead - and that I find very difficult to believe.

I got to know about his death when I was just about to attend two major conferences - Crossroads and IAMCR. I knew that Roger would be a continuing 'presence' there, since he has been in touch with (and indeed influenced) many people attending these conferences. What I was not prepared for, was the pure power of emotion that characterised many of the encounters at the conferences. Tears were not a random occurrence. The same has to be said about the reactions from those colleagues who used to be part of the EMTEL network(s). The email exchange following the announcement made me extremely sad - for all our loss and heartfelt sorrow - but also happy: for it is wonderful to see how one man can leave such powerful traces.

Roger had wanted to change the world - as a "small Jewish family man" (his self-description) and as a great scholar and wonderfully inspiring teacher - and he has indeed changed the world!

The difficulty of coming to terms with his death is partly based on what many of the other tributes have already stated: just like them, I recently met Roger again at the ICA in Dresden. He was so alive, so wonderfully welcoming, so full of ideas. He appeared to be bouncing, stating that he was enjoying himself immensely (although he generally did not like large conferences). In no way did it cross my mind that this could be our last ever encounter.

Roger was my first 'boss' at Sussex back in 1995. Together, we sailed through the early days of EMTEL, meeting great people from all over Europe, sharing ideas, developing projects. Without him, EMTEL would not have been what it was: a great success in every respect. This led to EMTEL II, the network I was fortunate enough to be a post-doctoral researcher in from 2001 until 2003. EMTEL worked well, because Roger managed to create a network out of a disparate set of people. He was great at showing us the connections between our ideas - connections we were not able to see. More importantly maybe, the dinners will always remain in all our memory - as will the laughter, the egalitarian nature of these networks, dancing and other such events. Roger was great at making everyone feel welcome and at home. I remember the same feeling when Roger and Jennifer invited Sussex staff and students to their house around Christmas every year. The hospitality was unbeatable (thanks, Jennifer!): the food was excellent, the wine kept coming and the conversation kept flowing. Simply magical - thanks to our hosts!

The same can be said about Roger as a teacher. I, too, was fortunate enough to have studied with Roger at Sussex (the MA in Media Studies 1993-94). Not only made he this MA possible for me as an Erasmus student (together with Tarik Ahmia, who has also posted a tribute), but he was the most incredible teacher on the core course. He managed to be very critical and at the same time encouraging. I never learnt as much as I learned in this one year. Without that year (and the following EMTEL employment), I would never have become an academic.

Without Roger, life would have been different. Thank you, Roger!

Shadi Hessami -MSc Student - LSE

You never die, because you are in minds and hearts. Thank you for everything.

Pei Huang (Pamela) - MSc in Global Media & Communications Student - LSE

Sometimes a brief exchange between two people can have a profound influence. Being a student, I believe that life is embedded with such things in which one has to be observant, listen and appreciate. One such instance occurred with a meeting with Roger which I will carry with me for all my life.

To explain;  I went to speak with Roger about my dissertation. I was a little nervous as he was such a great man. I was always in awe of him when he spoke in class due to his clarity in the way that he distributed and elicited complex ideas. On that day, I knocked on his door. When I opened it, I was met with warm and friendly smile.  He expressed his opinions on the dilemmas that I faced with my dissertation in relation to the content.  From here, it sounds like a normal student-teacher conversation.  To continue, my dissertation involves getting in contact with the policymaker and interviewees inside the BBC.  Being from China, this seemed impossible for me.  The BBC was a world famous broadcasting organization.  I was only an MSc Student although in the wonderful institution of LSE, nevertheless an MSc Student.  I explained my doubts and worries about this issue.  When I explained to him is that I was not a confident girl.  Roger smiled, looked at me and said "but you can be a big girl". Such words although sounding trivial were the words that acted as a platform for me to interact with people.  Later on, with these words in my heart, I approached the BBC Director and asked him questions relating to my dissertation.  Although, I was nervous, Roger's words supported me.  I am very grateful of him for these meaningful words; happy to have been a student in his class; to read his writings and glad to have the opportunity to meet him. I am sad that Roger is not with us. But the knowledge that I have learnt in his class and these meaningful words that he spoke to me, I will keep forever. Dear Roger, Thank you for being my teacher both  regarding the issues in the class and outside the class.  I will miss you and remember you.

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Mehita Iqani - MPhil/PhD candidate - LSE

I first had the opportunity to engage with Professor Silverstone when I e-mailed him out of the blue, just over a year ago, requesting the chance to meet with him while I was in London to request advice about whether the Media department at LSE might be the right place for me to pursue an MPhil/PhD.  Graciously, he agreed to meet with me, and when we did, I was delighted to find that he had in fact engaged with all of the material that I had already e-mailed him. At our meeting he was kind, attentive, interested and engaging. He made every effort to assist me in my applications to the LSE and various other funding bodies. Now, a year later, after having been accepted and having uprooted my entire life in order to come to London to work under his supervision, I am shocked and saddened to have learnt of his untimely death. My sense of loss at not having had the opportunity to further develop my research under his guidance is immense; it equals my disappointment at never having had a chance to get to know him better as a mentor and teacher. I send my deepest condolences to those who did have a chance to share in his knowledge and presence - his colleagues and students - but most of all to his family, friends and loved ones. May he rest in peace.

Indrek Ibrus - PhD Student, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

Although I just recently discovered that I had read and eagerly used and cited Roger's work already as a young undergraduate I have to admit to my embarrassment that I didn't really know much about Roger's role and position in the academy until I started my doctorate at the LSE media department two years ago. The more I can now say there was to learn about him and from him. He was without no doubt one the most ardent intellectuals I have ever met in my life and it was his department. His writings, his seminars and these short chats every now and again as he liked to have with all the students in his department, all this have had irreversible effect - I'm sure that among many other your academics I am just another one whom his enthusiasm, support, considered advice, his splendour have changed for good. I'm just extremely thankful for that.

J

Katie Johnson - MSc Student - LSE

I failed my first piece of unassessed writing.  It is the first thing in my life (bar my driver's test) that I have ever failed.  When I read the note from Roger asking to meet up with him to discuss the paper, I was terrified.  I really did not know what he was going to say or how he was going to react.  I imagined him getting upset with me and asking me to re-evaluate my position on the course, and thought I would end up in tears.  The opposite could not have been more true.  Roger was supportive and helpful, giving me sound advice on how I could have improved the paper and where I went wrong.  He was sympathetic and most of all encouraging and inspiring. Without him my masters would certainly not have been as successful.  He will definitely be missed.

K

Sarah Kamal - 1st year PhD Student,  Media and Communications - LSE

I've only had a year to get to know Roger, but what a year it's been. How many times did I enter his office awash in neuroses and leave strengthened by his patience and comforted by his understanding? He was on my side, and that was all that mattered. Gentle intellectual, empathic friend, he understood human frailties even as he demanded our very best as novice academics. In my last session with him I looked at him with scared eyes as I recounted a recent break-in at my flat. He shook his head and smiled, said something to the effect that he wondered how I managed to get myself into so much trouble, gave me a hard, reassuring hug, and let me go on my way. He did mention something about the surgery he would be undergoing, but I avoided the topic, chicken that I am, unwilling to fathom that he could go. His protection mattered, his belief mattered, his goodness mattered. But now I guess it's my turn, with some selfish grief, to let him go on his way. I wish I had some way of expressing my deep gratitude for his support but I think he knows. Even when I failed he was on my side, and that's a gift and a kindness from Roger that will carry me for a long time.

Ruth Kattumuri - Head LSE India

Roger Silverstone was full of energy and enthusiasm and new ideas. His sudden passing away has come as a shock to us at Partnerships Program and will be missed by us.

Mitra Keykhah - MSc Global Media and Communications Student - LSE

Please accept and pass on my sincere condolences on the loss of Roger Silverstone. Reading the email this morning was quite a shock. I only ever had good experiences having him as my dissertation supervisor, and I know his presence will be greatly missed.

Meghna Krishna - MSc Global Media and Communication - LSE

Roger was one of the most brilliant people I have known! Its a loss so profound that cannot be expressed in words. For students, for the academic fraternity of the world. I am glad to have been taught by Roger and fortunate to have him as my tutor. With all respect and reverence and with sorrow, I hope the rest of his journey is peaceful.

Dr Joëlle Kivits - LSE

Roger Silverstone undoubtedly had a great impact in my life. I was one of his research students, 2000-2005. He proved to be a wonderful supervisor: his constant encouragements, his invaluable advice and support, his teachings and sharing of experience. Before all, he was a generous, listening, and good person. I will never forget his smiles and his thoughtfulness. My work and my life will keep his mark and I'm grateful to him for giving me this chance. In this sad moment, I'd like to send my warmest love and deepest sympathy to his family.

Andreas Kriland - MSc Student - LSE rogerS3

As an MSc student at the department in 2002/3, I had the privilege to experience Professor Silverstone's kindness, helpfulness, and generosity, as well as his intellectual verve and curiosity that never ceased to inspire.

I will always carry with me the memory of his remarkable wit, enthusiasm and spirit, and the sight of him working quietly in his room, door open, against the backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Houghton Street.

Thank you, Roger.

Krini Kafiris, University of Cyprus - Cyprus

I am overcome by a profound sense of loss and great sadness at the news of Roger's death. Roger was my doctoral supervisor at Sussex and since then, a true mentor. I was also fortunate to have many intriguing and thought provoking discussions with him about Why Study the Media and the translation process, as I translated the book into Greek. Roger was always available, caring, and supportive. His passion and excitement for research and scholarly inquiry, his subtle and complex thought and writing, his willingness to discuss many issues including my work and plans, and his sense of humour and humanity, made every meeting with him inspiring in many ways and such a rare pleasure! Every meeting with him renewed my excitement about my own projects and about research and teaching in general. I feel very lucky to have known such a rare and wonderful teacher, scholar, and human being. I will greatly miss him and remember him with much affection and respect. My sincere condolences to his family.

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Professor Sonia Livingstone - Department of Media and Communications - LSE

I think my story may be typical of many. When I was pursuing my doctorate at Oxford, feeling out of place and uncertain (my research was on the soap opera!), I wrote to Roger - who I knew only through the inspiration I received from reading his first book, The Message of Television. I have never forgotten the day I went to meet him at Brunel - unlike my highly sceptical supervisor, Roger understood what I was trying to do, he was excited by my ideas; indeed, I recall him spinning round on his desk chair as he talked! I returned to Oxford encouraged and positive; later, he gave me my first chance of an academic job. All this was twenty years ago, and since then, as we became close colleagues, I had many more chances for the stimulating and uplifting exchange of ideas, which I greatly valued. Though like many I regret not talking to him more; he was a fantastic colleague and I shall miss him enormously. I have been reflecting in the past week also just how much I draw on his books and articles in my own work, another reason for gratitude. But most of all, I shall miss Roger as a person in my daily life, someone whose door was always open for a quick word of advice or help, someone always ready to be interested and thoughtful, someone whose warmth and encouragement I shall now have only in memory.

Peter M. Lewis - Research Associate, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

Roger's supportive interest in other people's ideas was illustrated in my case when, at a dinner party in December 1997 celebrating his LSE appointment, he listened to my plans for a Radio Research Centre. I was there because my wife, Anne Karpf, had kept up with Roger since the early 1980s when they were both writing about television and science. It was the first time I had met Roger and I was impressed by his friendly response and his readiness to meet me subsequently to talk through the idea. He worked out a way to bring the project to the LSE and his support, as well as a signature from Anthony Giddens, resulted in a successful application to the ERSC for a three-year Research Fellowship. This provided the time and resources to build the Radio Studies Network for which the UK's radio research community must for ever be in his debt. I continued to benefit from his wise encouragement and his experience of the media studies field both then and afterwards as the project took an a European dimension.

I shall not forget this crucial support, his accessibility and friendly informality, nor the warm hospitality he and Jennifer provided. Anne and I extend our deepest sympathy to her and the family.

Professora Charo Lacalle - Vicedegana de Relacions Exteriors i Intercanvis, Facultat de Ciències de la Comunicació, Universitat Autònoma De Barcelona

I am very sorry because of Roger Silverstone's death.

Ana Inés Langer - Tutorial Fellow, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

I have worked with Roger since 1999, both as a PhD student and as a colleague. I was also his next-door office neighbour, so I was always taking advantage of his open-door policy to come in for a brief chat, about academic related issues and, more often, just about seemingly more trivial -but meaningful- 'stuff'. By doing this, I often interrupted his work but, yet, he always had the most welcoming smile.

Since I learnt of his death, I cannot stop remembering this many brief chats, which remind me of his sense of humour and kindness. As when I admired his pink stripy socks and he proudly told me that they were a present from his grandson. As when he jokingly 'sent' me to do therapy and to my evasive reply that I couldn't do in English he said 'I have a long list of Argentinean analysts to offer you'. As when he recently came to my office to tell me that both Argentina (where I am from) and England needed to practice taking penalties, and I told him to leave my office immediately. As when just before my PhD viva he hugged me and convinced me that it was all going to be fine and then showed his almost paternal pride when he turned out to be right.

He has guided me, supported me and inspired me in my research and teaching. He would often go beyond the professional façade, offering me his warmth, comfort and encouragement. And, in the rare occasions when he unwillingly happened to upset me, he would quickly come back to apologise, which is a virtue that does not abound. He was a very bright and well respected academic but, above all, he was a warm and very fine human being. It is as such, and with a smile, that I will always remember him. It was a privilege.

Shih-Hung Lo -  Associate Professor, Department of Communication, National Chung Cheng University - Taiwan

Roger's sudden death came as a shock to me.

I was at the LSE doing PhD during 1996-2001. Personally, I was so much fond of his presence on many occasions; He always made everyone feel at home. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Roger for his presence, inspiration, kindness and generosity in our weekly research seminar and my PhD upgrading committee, etc.

Thank you, Roger. You will be always on my mind.

Danielle Lemon - MSc, Media and Communications Regulation and Policy, 2005 - LSE

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the loss of Roger. I have very fond memories of his warm welcome to me and my fellow students in October 2004 when we arrived to begin our studies, and was inspired by the passion and dedication to the study of media that he showed in lectures. His deep belief in the essential role media plays in society was evident and confirmed for me why my studies were important and relevant. What a sad loss for us all.

With deep condolences

Lei Jin - MSc Student, 2002-2003, MSc in Media and Communications - LSE

I am astonished and feel deep sorrow for the sudden passing of Roger Silverstone as I just bought the Chinese edition of 'Television and Everyday Life', one of his most important works last month. Roger is one of the best professors I've met. During the time I studied at  the Media@LSE, Roger offered me very kind and precious help. Without his guidance and encourage, I would not finished my dissertation. He was always ready to offer help to me and the other Chinese students. He was also very kind for offering the reference letters for me although he was always busy. His kindness will be remembered forever. Although Roger passed away, his books, articles and thoughts will never fade. A normal Chinese student will remember him forever.

M

Professor Robin Mansell -  Department of Media and Communications - LSE

Roger's support and enthusiasm for my work through every phase of my academic career from 1988 until a few weeks ago has had a hugely profound influence on who I have been able to become and what I have managed to achieve. His determination and ability to cajole me into to believing in myself will never be forgotten, nor his friendship through good and not so good times. I miss him enormously. I extend my deepest sympathy to you Jennifer and to all of your family.

Professor Henrietta Moore - Professor of Anthropology - LSE

I enjoyed all my encounters with Roger - whether eating lunch quietly or debating the wisdom of 'global' expansion for the media programme.  He was a source of comfort as well as intellectual support and good sense when I was Deputy Director.  I feel huge shock at his loss, as we all do.

Tim Murphy - Professor of Law - LSE

I am devastated by this news. I can only speculate about its impact upon the Department but I can comment on the impact on the School. Roger was a very conscientious Academic Governor a few years ago and more recently a valued member of the Conveners' Forum. His manner was always quiet and unassuming but beneath that was a clarity of perception and judgement which I for one found enormously helpful. When we served on committees together, he was one of the members whose reactions I would observe closely even if, surrounded by noisier colleagues, he did not always choose to speak. At a personal and intellectual level, I have also lost one of the few remaining colleagues with whom I can swap stories about Donald MacRae, his PhD supervisor, who, for all his flaws, was someone we both deeply respected. With Roger's passing, another bit of the School's living memory also fades. It is a very sad moment for me.

Catherine Manthorpe  - Head, Partnership Programmes, Research and Project Development Division - LSE

Roger always had a smile. I will miss him greatly as a colleague and friend. Together we worked on developing the Global Media degree programme when he first joined the School, and more recently on the extension of that programme with Fudan University, Shanghai. Roger's ambition was to further extend the programme to India and we had just begun to explore the possibilities for this development. Roger's enthusiasm and energy seemed beyond bounds. He will be greatly missed by all of us in Partnership Programmes.

Andy Medhurst, Caroline Bassett & Kate Lacey, on behalf of the Department of Media and Film and the former School of Cultural and Community Studies at the University of Sussex

Roger Silverstone was the first Professor of Media at Sussex, and swiftly and indisputably became its driving force.   He arrived shortly after the launch of the degree, and wasted no time in moulding the shape of the Media and Cultural Studies programme and creating a rich and sustaining working environment for both colleagues and students.   Through his deft and purposeful stewardship he ensured that Media became a serious player in the university's ecosystem.

He seemed to find the interdisciplinary ethos of Sussex a welcome release from his previous incarnation as a wholly respectable social scientist, and his time here was characterised by an open-mindedness and generosity of spirit rare at the time and even rarer a decade or more deeper into the audit-driven conservatism we all now face across the sector. His tenure as Director of an interdisciplinary research centre allowed him to pursue his wider interests with characteristic vigour and dynamism and he was inspirational in fostering a research culture that could embrace many different traditions and approaches.  His own distinctive, complex, but always accessible work on the poetics and politics of mediated experience has continued to enrich the ways in which many of us think about our own research.

His doctoral students valued the time he gave to them, his capacity to listen and his willingness to engage with new ideas. He was confident enough in his own standpoints to encourage and nurture younger colleagues working within frameworks entirely different to those he himself employed, and above all he had the ability to enthuse - to sow seeds, to foster connections, to remind us that what we did could really matter. 

He did all this with shaming levels of commitment and hard work, with a mischievous sense of humour not often detected in senior academics, and with only the occasional burst of professorial irascibility.  He knew there was more to life than work, and many of his colleagues and students will remember well the legendary parties that he and Jennifer would throw every year.  He was also one of the few Englishmen not to look ridiculous in a fedora.  

The Media programmes at Sussex have continued to expand and flourish, yet although their success is unimaginable without Roger's contributions, it's undeniable that things have never quite been the same since he left. After he had gone many of us missed the energetic figure in the long coat and the trademark hat  striding across the campus with colleagues or students in tow, or his ability to cut through the endemic waffle of meetings with another unerringly incisive but unfailingly constructive remarks. It is also telling and apt that the news of his enragingly untimely death has brought tributes from colleagues in many other departments here, since the mark he made at this University could never be confined to just one degree or discipline.  Putting it at its simplest, he made a real difference, and those of us lucky enough to benefit from his input and influence will always know how fortunate we were.

Jean Morris - Administrator, Department of Media and Communications - LSE

I bought and read Roger's book 'Why Study The Media' before I was interviewed for a job in his department five years ago. I knew little about academia and nothing about the study of media and communications, but was immediately engaged and thought 'I like this mind. I'd like to work with this man'. At the interview I liked Roger at once and my liking has only grown and grown with every day of seeing his kindness, gentleness, light touch, warm smile, wit, self-deprecation, strength and persistence and admiring his lucid and original intellect.

Sometimes his inability to let stupidity on my part go by without a sharp remark made me wince, but it was always shot through with enjoyment of being around such a sharp mind and the thought that I was lucky to have a boss whose opinion mattered to me because I was so fond of him.

I'll always remember Roger and miss him very much.      

Professor William Melody

The Gentleman Scholar Leaves the Party Early

I met Roger Silverstone about 20 years ago when I was the Director of the ESRC Programme on Information and Communications Technologies (PICT), charged with recommending new ICT research and training centres that would work at the frontier of the field. The idea was to support the establishment of six new distinctive multidisciplinary centres that would operate as a network to achieve synergy, would significantly influence the academic agenda, and inform public policy debate. As both the Chair of Council and I were economists, and this was the Thatcher government, it was presumed this initiative would spawn a group of techno-economic centres.

But among the applications was one from a team at Brunel University led by Professor Roger Silverstone, proposing to establish a Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology (CRICT) that would focus on relations between culture and the new technologies, and particularly on the culture(s) of everyday life. This would be stretching our remit a very long way, but the proposal was sufficiently intriguing to justify a visit to learn more. Roger was a genial host to an engaging seminar that I recall went on into the early evening. Then I got to know Roger well as we plotted and implemented a strategy to get his proposal approved in the ultra-conservative environment, and later in PICT programme activities. 

Roger's Centre was established in 1987 and played a full role as a highly productive member of the PICT network. In the intervening 20 years, we have seen an explosion of interest and research on evolving information societies, with Roger's research and related activities on culture and technologies playing an influential role.  Looking back, Roger's PICT-based research was clearly at the frontier of serious study of the evolving culture of information societies. But Roger may have been the only one who realized it at the time. 

I left the UK in 1989 to set up a multidisciplinary ICT research centre in Melbourne, Australia. Given my experience with Roger, of course culture and technology was included as a pillar of study. But I had never considered my own research, which I consider multidisciplinary, but anchored in economics, as connecting in a serious way with Roger's work at the other end, so to speak, of the social sciences. Yet I continued to learn from his work, particularly about important matters that my own profession tends to assume away, as well as from our periodic contacts comparing views on our very different multidisciplinary approaches to the study of media and communication technology.  In later years, these contacts were extended to include the formidable challenges of building and shaping new institutions in our field, one of Roger's discovered skills as he realized that behind the quiet, scholarly demeanour lay a very effective advocate and negotiator.

Dr. Mirca Madianou - Lucy Cavendish College - University of Cambridge

Roger was a wonderful and inspiring teacher, but he was also more than that; always generous with his time, thought-provoking in his interventions and humane in his approach, he managed to create a climate of research and inquiry that has been long lasting and for which I will always be grateful.  

I will miss our conversations and dialogue, but find some comfort in the thought that he will always live through his writings.

Dina Matar - Teaching Fellow - Centre for Film and Media Studies, SOAS

Dear Roger, Words are not enough to express my feelings today. You were a great mentor, friend and colleague. I shall miss you immensely. May God rest your soul. Love, Dina

Mandira Moddie - Cultural Affairs Specialist, Office of Public Affairs -U.S. Consulate General for South India

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Roger's passing away. I first got in touch with Roger when I was planning to come to LSE to study, and he was very kind and patient and answered all my questions and concerns. I finally met him when I got to LSE and he was the head of my course and also taught me. I enjoyed his class so much. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I know that he will be sorely missed at the Media Department in LSE.

Julia Dunis Majoulet -MSc Media & Communications Regulation 2000-2001 - LSE

I was saddened to learn of Roger's sudden passing. I will ever be indebted to him for the chance he gave me to complete my MSc as part of LSE's Media & Communication Programme, for the great people I met during that year and the rewarding experience of -at last- thoroughly enjoying studying. My sincere condolences go to his family and friends, and those who worked with him at LSE.

Hong Ma - MSc Student - LSE

We always enjoyed Professor Silverstone's lectures, he would always fill them with his energy and enthusiasm. It wasn't simply learning, it was an event that I could look forward to. I feel saddened by the news and feel for the family's loss. We will miss him.

Enrico Menduni Full Professor of Radio and Tv Communication Università Roma 3, Roma, Italia

The impact of Roger's ideas and books, some of them translated, on Italian media culture has been wide and deep. In Italian universities and media centres has been for long a secure reference and many students begun their homework wondering "Why study the media?" quoting the title of one of most popular Roger's texts. In my opinion his greatest contribution has been a firm shift of the concept of public sphere from the press to the electronic media environment, shaping a new political economy of mediatised communication. We shall miss his brilliant thinking. His decease is a great loss for all of us.

Daniel Miller 

I last saw Roger a few days before his untimely and deeply sad death, when he came to celebrate a film his son had helped make for the Jewish Museum. We chatted about his recent lunch with Jurgen Habermas and made plans for our respective PhD students to meet up and exchange ideas. I had seen him intermittently since the time of the original Domesticating Technologies conference at Brunel, but was constantly hearing about the way he was building up departments, most recently at the LSE. It was clear from all these conversations that Roger was not just an innovative and significant academic but clearly someone who inspired and facilitated. The people who worked with him, students and colleagues, were committed to that form of media studies which was most personal and most concerned with the consequences of media on ordinary lives, and I think that it is no coincidence that his academic work and his work as facilitator was based around that very same concern for people and their welfare. I can't think of a better legacy than to have been the figure who took a discipline that could so easily rise up and stagnate on the cold heights and show it another direction back down to the warmth of everyday life without losing anything of its intellectual depth. That was his inspiration and I very much hope it will live after him.

Fongtien Miao - MSc Student - LSE

Unfortunately, I have skipped many of Roger's lectures during my tenure as a LSE student.  Nevertheless, I'll never forget the first day when this man was introduced to us, the students, as an 'awesome speaker'. I somewhat hoped it wasn't what I thought I might be as I opened the email titled : Roger Silverstone. But it is. Well. Goodbye, Roger. Your departure is our loss.

Sara Meireles Graça - Área de Ciências da Comunicação, das Organizações e dos Media Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra - Escola Superior de Educação Praça Heróis do Ultramar - Solum

I would like to present my deep condolences to the family and friends of Professor Roger Silverstone. I'm a Portuguese teacher of Media Studies at Coimbra Politechnic| and a PhD student at Institute of Social Studies - University of Lisbon|, who appreciates very much the work of Professor Silverstone, which is so important to the study, knowledge and development of the media field... I'm very sad at this loss.

Li Moxuan - MSc Student - LSE

Roger was my supervisor during my study at LSE 2002-2003. I actually met him in January 2006, quite recently. And he was proud of me that his former student became an environmentalist, a campaigner for Greenpeace China, working on the very front of combating environmental injustice, practising much of what I learned from him -- the power of communications. That made me feel proud too.

I met him in January to discuss my PhD research. And he raised the most challenging questions. He wanted me to think through it carefully. He then pledged full support to my application.

Now that I plan to resume my student life and actually planned to visit him in September, to thank him in person, to tell him I will keep the good work going no matter as a researcher or as a campaigner, to see him proud of me.

............

And now I know better I will keep the good work going, it will be the best way to remember Roger.

 

P

Paschal Preston - Founder, STeM centre, Professor, School of Communication - Dublin City University

I am extremely saddened and shocked at the news of Roger Silverstone's death. I extend my deep sympathies to his family at this difficult time. I can only imagine that this is a tremendously sad time for Roger's family and friends as well as his close colleagues. I have known Roger for 20 years, and have participated in three collaborative research efforts with him over that time (PICT, EMTEL-1 and EMTEL-2).

Roger was not only a brilliant scholar and writer, but also combined all that with a warm and open personality and a sparkling spirit. He was also a gracious, "natural" leader of groups, especially of the academic species. A very rare combination of qualities indeed. I last met Roger at the ICA conference in Dresden only last month where he seemed and sounded in very good spirits. Indeed he displayed sparkle and optimism that reminded me of the younger Roger I first met in Brunel way back in 1986 or 1987. He mentioned an upcoming procedure that had certain risks but we joked that he should had seen off his share of unforeseen medical complications in the past.

Such a sudden and sad turn of events is harsh and unexpected. I guess Roger's sad and premature passing reminds us that health and time are indeed the most precious resources of all.

Ricardo Jorge Pinto - Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Jornal Expresso - Porto, Portugal

Roger Silverstone was my PhD supervisor at University of Sussex. As a Portuguese student coming to England with a project that was wider than my qualifications, it would be easy to say no to my proposal. But Roger always believed I could do it. He never posed an obstacle that was not absolutely necessary. He was always part of the solution. He was never part of the problem. And that is a quality you rarely see in the academic community. I learned from him an important lesson: the more knowledgeable you are the more accessible you should become to the ones that need your advice. Recently when I invited him to participate in a Communication Convention in Portugal he eagerly accepted with the enthusiasm I was used to seeing in him. There was only one difference: his enthusiasm was even more intense. I will miss you Roger.

Nadya Powell - MSc Student 2001 - 2003 - LSE

I first met Roger when I started to think about doing an MSc. for a preliminary chat and was instantly impressed with how kind and patient he was with a rather bemuddled 25 year old.  It was because of his manner as much as the course that I decided to apply to do Media Studies at the LSE and once there he continued to inspire me.  He wrote in a magical manner and his lectures illuminated the subjects he was talking about and got through to everyone no matter where they came from or where their mind was at. 

I am very sad to hear that Roger has passed away and condolences to his family and friends.  He combined intellect with warmth and help set this 25 year old on her way.

Claudine Provencher - PhD Student - Department of Social Psychology, LSE

I was very shocked and saddened to learn of the passing away of Professor Silverstone. Although not from his department, he had kindly accepted to meet me in order to discuss possible topics for my PhD thesis after we kept 'bumping' into each other in the stairways of St Clement's Building. I will remember him as a very caring person.  

 

Q

Xin Qi - MSc Media and Communications 2004-05 - LSE

Dear Roger,

I miss the lectures you gave.

May you go well.

R

Erja Ruohomaa, D.Phil - Head of Research in Corporate Strategy -YLE - The Finnish Broadcasting Co.

Roger Silverstone was the supervisor of my doctoral studies at the University of Sussex since 1993. To Roger's family, I send my deepest condolences. He was always the most supportive teacher and a wonderful friend when I needed one.

Dominic Rustam - Global Media and Communications student 2005-07 - LSE

On starting out on my dissertation, there was never a single doubt in my mind over whom I wanted for my supervisor. Indeed, it was Roger's witty sense of humour, abundance of charisma, and dedication to his work, that made spending time with him such a pleasure, as well as an honour. When Roger spoke there was an aura that filled the room, one that few others possess. In studying more and more of Roger's work, I came to truly appreciate the thoughtful and poetic approach he brought to his theory that distinguishes him from so many writers. So it was with great sadness that I received the news about Roger's sudden death, and my thoughts are firmly with his family at this difficult time. Not only do we say goodbye to a brilliant mind, but also a genuine, kind-hearted gentleman.

Mary Rahman - MSc Media and Communications - LSE

Roger got me through one of the darkest periods of my life at LSE. I had lost inspiration and faith in the reason I was doing my masters and I will never forget the day we sat together in his room and talked about how we were 'both' going to get through this. That was why I respected Roger-he saw it as a journey we were both going through and became a friend, ally, counsellor as well as my professor! I only saw him a couple of weeks before he passed away and I am glad I had the opportunity to say to him numerous times 'that if it hadn't been for you Roger...'. He will be sorely missed by me and I owe my Masters degree to him.

I had the privilege of interacting with Roger quite a bit during my year at the LSE. Often, I would come to his office to make suggestions about the programme. After his first surgery, I was one of many who helped arrange Roger's "Meet the Media night." It was in arranging that event that I got to know Roger best. Time is always a scarce commodity for faculty at the LSE, but Roger always made time to hear me out.

Gerard Raiti - MSc Global Media 2004-2005, LSE - DreamWorks Animation Los Angeles, USA

The defining moment of my LSE career was a discussion with Roger about Aristotalian argument and the difference between argument with cement and argument with bricks. Ever since that infamous conversation, I have been trying to reach Roger's standard of bricks.

Roger was full of surprises too. When I thought he could only be an academic elitist and know little of popular culture, Roger kindly emailed me an insightful commentary he had written about X-Men 2.

During my year in LA, Roger helped co-advise an independent study I was writing for Dr. Banet-Weiser. I got to read excerpts from his forthcoming work -- a true treat! I never sent Roger a completed copy of my essay because I thought I had not reached his standards; I wish I had. Roger was my academic touchstone, a brilliant and witty professor, a captivating public speaker, and someone whose conversations I will greatly miss.

S

Colin Scott - Lecturer, Department of Law - LSE

I was shocked and saddened to learn today of Roger Silverstone's premature death. I did not know him well, but what I did know of him I liked immensely. From my first meeting with him when he joined LSE in 1998 I was struck by his intellect and vision, but overwhelmingly by his kindness and humanity. He had a rare talent for inclusiveness, and combined that with boundless enthusiasm and a sense of style which he brought to the smallest of activities, as well as to his major professional projects. He enriched the worlds of LSE, academia and public life more generally and will be greatly missed.  My thoughts are with his family and close colleagues.

Fiona Sandford - Head of Careers Service, and the Careers team - LSE

The Careers Service will miss Roger; we have valued the energy, insight, humour and thoughtfulness that he employed when chairing our career forums, and the kindness and support that he showed three years ago when we were setting up a new service. Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time.

Anabela de Sousa Lopes - ESCS - Portugal

Dear Roger,

You will always be one of my intellectual inspirations. I want to tell you again how contagious was your enthusiasm and I thank you for all the moments we shared together talking about my research, your research, fado, football...about life! In my mind I will keep your wonderful smile.

Cheers!

Zoetanya Sujon - PhD Student, Media and Communications - LSE

Dear Roger,

There are a lot of things I had hoped to tell you at some point.  I made a mistake in thinking that there was more time to do so, and that maybe it would be better to tell you these things after I had completed my work with you.  It breaks my heart that these words come too late to tell you face to face.

Without a doubt, many many people will celebrate your intellectual daring and creativity.  Without a doubt, people from all over the world will testify how your work has inspired their own.  Without a doubt, all those who have ever worked with you will remember your humour and treasure the way you offered constructive criticism honestly and with a twinkle in your eye.  I too share all these memories, yet such words cannot truly express the impact you have had on my life, both personally and professionally.

There was a time last year when you held a dinner at your house for everyone in the department who had taken on extra work to help cover your absence while you had been ill.  I was grateful to be included and felt privileged to be invited into your home to share the good food and good company of your wife and others in the department.  To be honest, I was surprised by how overwhelming this gratitude felt.  I realized on my way home, that I was just so relieved and happy that you had survived your illness and were still with us and, true to form, could make so many people feel honoured and welcome.  As a relatively new academic, it was this ability to encourage me on so many levels - to make me feel welcome to the academic community as an intellectual and as an individual that I remember as most representative of your character.

It might sound like a small thing, this capacity to make me and others feel welcome.  But it is not.  For me, it meant that you always believed in me and in my work.  You were there to offer kind words and advice (and often a joke) whether I was stumbling or walking strong.  It meant offering your undivided attention to my questions, often followed by clear yet pointed questions of your own, even when such queries came unscheduled.  It meant you genuinely enjoyed the process of sharing ideas and creating knowledge.  In so many ways, it meant knowing you were not just my supervisor and a colleague, but also my ally and friend.

As so many have assured me, it is important to remember we are all very lucky to have known and worked with you.  And Roger, you will in part live on through all you have taught us, in our work and practice now and to come.

Roger - you are much loved and will be deeply deeply missed.  Rest in peace.

My heart and sympathy goes out to his family, his students and all his friends and colleagues at LSE and elsewhere.

Diala Saadeh - MSc Student, Media and Communications - LSE

I was saddened to hear of the terrible loss of our inspiring teacher Professor Roger, my supervisor. I was reading in his book Why Study the Media yesterday while trying to finish writing the first chapter of my dissertation which I was supposed to be submitting to him. He will always be alive and remembered in our minds and hearts as we continue to read his inspiring books.   I am deeply sorry for his family and send them my condolences.

Isa Seow

I am saddened to hear of Dr. Silverstone's passing. He was a kind man with great intellect. Although I never had the chance to work with him directly, my meetings over 2002-2004 tells me he has great interest on students' development and ICT policy development. The academic and research community will surely feel this great loss.

Richard Scullion - PhD Student - LSE

I knew Roger for only the last year but will always be indebted to him for his wisdom.

Murali Shanmugavelan, Communication for Development Programme - MSc Media and Communication 2001 - LSE

I am shocked to hear about Prof. Roger Silverstone. I studied MSc Media and Communication in 2001 and I still remember his sharp intellect when he delivered lectures. I also remember a friend of mine applauding at him (as if she was supporting to a Presidential candidate) after he finished his long two hours lecture on post-modernity. I have also often bumped into him at the BBC and he was always very kind and took a moment to enquire how I was.

Professor Christina Slade - Dean of Humanities - Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

I know I speak on behalf of all those who are admirers of Roger in Australia. It is a great loss. The last time I talked with him was in Dresden at ICA, where he was in great form. We were talking of philosophical issues related to the past; Roger said that his own concern was ethics and the future. The irony is too lacking in subtlety for him.

Steve Smith, Unlimited Exposure Public Relations - MSc in Media and Communications Student, 2003-2004 - LSE

I completed an MSc in Media and Communications in 2003-2004. Whilst Roger was not a lecturer of mine, I knew him from the department and always enjoyed his company. His passing at such a young age is a profound loss, not just for the department in which he was a driving force, but also the academic community. I will always remember a story he told us of tracking down Marshall McLuhan for lunch when he was a student. That to me summed up his drive, energy and passion for the subject of media. I offer my profound condolences to his family and friends during this very sad time.

Prof. Michele Sorice - Faculty of Communication Sciences -  University of Lugano

This news is a profound shock for me and for my University. Roger leaves an important track on our research and in our lives too. I have no words, but Roger will continue to live in our work and in our hearts.

Ai Saeki - MSc Student, Culture and Society - LSE

Professor Silverstone was my supervisor for my dissertation in Lent Term (the LSE) this year so my memory of him is very clear. Although I briefly saw him he was very gentle and kind and gave me useful and accurate advice. I am thankful to him. Sad and shocking but his contribution to the media field is great and will be forever.

Rohan Samarajiva - Executive Director, LIRNEasia, - Sri  Lanka

I wish to express my condolences to Roger's family and friends at LSE.

I worked with Roger on two projects, the Communication by Design book that he and Robin Mansell edited back in 1995 or so and the two attempts (the second successful) to launch New Media and Society through Sage. He was a great colleague: straight talking, energetic, focused on getting the job done and of course, always brilliant and insightful.

This was a flame that burnt brilliantly, though not long enough. I grieve for him, but I know his ideas will live on. And that is what the intellectual life is about.

Marva Small- Student - LSE

It was a privilege to have been taught by Roger Silverstone.

 

T

Dr Damian Tambini - Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, Centre for Advanced Study in Social Sciences - Oxford

On Tuesday 18th July, 2006, 80 students and experts from around the globe gathered together in Oxford to hear a lecture by the OSCE Special Representative for Freedom of Expression

This is from the introduction to the lecture:

I want to mention something that has shocked and saddened us here at Oxford and in the wider community of academics and others who study the media. Roger Silverstone, LSE Professor and Chair and Founder of the Department of Media and Communications died last Sunday, prematurely and at the height of his creative powers. I want to permit Roger to introduce this lecture. I will use his words, to remind us how he combined the sharpest analytical rigour with an elegant expression that we should all surely try to emulate. The topic of our lecture today is Internet Censorship. The following passage, from his wonderful "Why Study the Media" was written as a commentary on the media taken as a whole, but applies particularly well to the issue of the internet and its control at a time when the boundaries between the internet and other media are fast disappearing.

"It is all about power, of course. In the end. The power the media have to set an agenda. The power they have to destroy one. The power they have to influence and change the political process. The power to enable, to inform. The power to deceive. The power to shift the balance of power: between state and citizen; between country and country; between producer and consumer. And the power that they are denied: by the state, by the market, by the resistant or resisting audience, citizen, consumer. It is all about ownership and control: the who and the what and the how of it. And it is about the drip, drip drip of ideology as well as the shock of the luminous event. It is about the media's power to create and sustain meanings; to persuade, endorse and reinforce. The power to undermine and reassure. It is about reach. And it is about representation: the ability to grant access and participation. It is about the power to listen and the power to speak and be heard. The power to prompt and guide reflection and reflexivity. The power to tell tales and articulate memories."

Special Representative Miklos Haraszti kindly agreed that we should dedicate this lecture to Roger's memory.

With fond memories of Roger and sadness about a lost opportunity to work more closely with him.

Vivi Theodoropoulou - PhD student, Media and Communications - LSE

'Just get better, and we'll work it out', you said. I did. But now, suddenly and prematurely, you're gone! And how can we ever work out your loss, Roger? This really hurts!!! To soften the grief, I am thankful I have so many fond memories of you I'll always be carrying with me. You had this sweeping aura that would leave everyone around you awe-struck, and make them want to look and listen. You were the most charismatic lecturer and public speaker I've ever met, an inspiring and caring teacher, a philosopher and a poet, a visionary and an innovator. Working with you has been such a privilege, and being your apprentice has been a very rewarding experience I will always cherish. Thank you for all the 'gifts' you have given me throughout the years; they are too many to list. You have my eternal respect and admiration. Your aura shall always be surrounding me, and surely all of your family, friends and students, the LSE and the media academic world. Goodbye Roger. We will greatly miss you!

Tang Yan Jie - MSc Student  -LSE

I've left UK for a couple of years, but Roger looked so full of life and wisdom the last time I met him when he was so kind as to agree to take me in as one of his PhD candidates. Because of some family reasons, I later on turned down the offer, with great reluctance and much much regret. Now I know I have missed forever the chance to study under his guidance. And he promised in an email exchange only last October to visit my school the next time he comes to China. Words cannot begin to describe my feelings now. How I loved the way he lectured, the way he wrote, and the way he helped his students. May his soul now rest in eternal peace in Heaven.

Liza Tsaliki

I was shocked to hear the news of Roger's passing away.  I was one of his doctoral students I will remember him very fondly, and I will miss him dearly...

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 Adriana van der Graaf - PhD Student - LSE

With a bright smile he said,

"I have no clue what you're doing, but I think it's great..."

Virtually he herded my faith

Now I say goodbye

To a great thinker

I say goodbye

To a wonderful mentor

I say goodbye

To you

A true believer who went to sleep when the world woke up

Cristian Vaccari, Massimiliano Andreoletti, Gabriele Buzzi, Silvia Ladogana, Francesco Paparella - Milan

Professor Roger Silverstone's premature death deeply appals us. As PhD students at the IULM University in Milan, we were so fortunate to personally meet him in a fascinating one-week graduate seminar he taught at our university in April 2003. We remember those days with fondness and gratitude, both for the depth and insight in Professor Silverstone's lectures and for his profound humanity and understanding in our personal conversations or in informal chats during the class breaks. We will never forget the farewell dinner we had all together with him on his final day in Milan. We received invaluable suggestions for our research and long-lasting lessons from him, and all of us hoped to meet him again sooner or later. We will miss him very much and wish his family all the best for the future.

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Laurence Wolfson - Director of Mental Health, Addictions and Continuing Care, William Osler Health Centre

We will always hold a special place in our hearts for Roger.  He, along with Jennifer opened their home and hearts to Miriam and me when we were just beginning our relationship.  Couldn't have been kinder or more fun.  How to describe Roger?  Warmth, grace, erudition, scholarship, humour - all wrapped up in a cloak of modesty and humility.  What a great, great man.

Although removed to some degree by distance and circumstance, we have been deeply affected by this.  Please accept our comfort and solace for what they are worth.

Nancy Wood - Dean, School of Critical Studies, CalArts - Valencia, California

My former colleagues in Media Studies at the University of Sussex have eloquently expressed the transformative influence that Roger had on our programme as our first Professor of Media and communications. They have also evoked the personal impact that Roger made on the lives of colleagues and students alike - and yes, our fond collective memory of Roger striding across campus in his long coat and stylish fedora!

I was on the Search Committee that appointed Roger to this Professorship. I knew him only by reputation then, but during the interview where his intellect and energy were in full force (and a dose of mischievous humour for good measure) I became utterly convinced that Roger was the person we wanted and needed. I was not to know the kind of human being we got into the bargain. I count the years working, teaching and brainstorming with Roger at Sussex as the high point of my time there. I was bereft when he left for the LSE but the solid friendship which we had formed made his departure easier to bear - though only just.

I last saw Roger and Jennifer during their stay in Los Angeles when Roger was visiting the Annenberg School at USC. He spoke of the Media and Morality book as one that was spawned by conversations about media ethics during his final year at Sussex. Thank you for that little gift, Roger - I shall be reading it with those poignant memories in mind.

 

Dr Bridgette Wessels, Lecturer, University of Sheffield

I first met Roger when I was a PhD student at Sussex. My work spanned across SPRU and Culcom, and Roger generously gave me time and support as I explored new media, culture and innovation. He was inspirational, fun, enthusiastic and generous, and helped me to believe in myself, allowing academic freedom whilst expecting academic rigour. He remained a supporter after the PhD and a wonderful friend and mentor, always pleased to see me if I called in to his office and to hear from me via email and telephone. I contacted him just before Dresden with some good news about some writing projects we had talked about over several years, and he was delighted and happy to hear the news: my sadness is that he will not now see those projects come to fruition, and wished I could have acted sooner on the projects. However, I think that Roger would appreciate Peter Brook's words:

"In an African village, when a storyteller comes to the end of his tale, he places the palm of his hand on the ground and says, 'I put down my story here.' Then he adds, 'So that someone else may take it up on another day'" (Threads of Time, 1999: 226-7).

I feel that Roger's gift is that he too has put his hand on the ground and has invited us to take up his story and work into new beginnings. I shall miss him but he will remain in my work and thoughts.

 

Shengyi Wu and Jia Xia - MSc Students - LSE

We are so sad to hear Roger's passing away this morning. We can not believe it at first. Roger, such a good teacher, is always thinking a lot for students. He was always patient to answer our questions, gave great supports to our work and organized several fairs for students to meet staff of British media. We still remember that he offered favour to do the job of Terhi when she was ill. He showed great responsibilities to Global media students. What we study from him is not only the knowledge and attitude to research, but also his kind heart to the world. Language is useless to express our painful feelings. His warm smile affected everyone. The memories of him will be in our deep heart forever. Hope Roger well in heaven! We will miss him!

Arturo Wallace - MSc Student,  Media and Communications 2000-2001 - LSE

I last saw Professor Silverstone last June, as I briefly passed through London. I chose to surprise him so I popped by his office unannounced. He looked a bit frail but quite upbeat, on his way to a full recovery, happy to be back at work, brimming with projects and ideas. And busy. Still, he immediately made time for me, as he always did when, as his student, I went looking for some piece of advice or just for the opportunity to discuss an idea... I guess that's what I always admired the most about him and also one of the most important things he ever taught me: he would always stop to listen to what other people had to say, he would pay real attention to their ideas and give back nothing but his best. His real best. Never a pre-cooked answer so to get things out of the way. Because he cared. He really cared. And very often that can make the whole difference. That was part of what made him a great teacher, a great supervisor, a great human being. A great friend. I miss him already.

Tony Wilson - Kuala Lumpur

I write from Malaysia on hearing the sad news of Roger Silverstone's death, a shock indeed. Amidst his many intellectual accomplishments, he pointed to phenomenologists as a heuristic resource in devising an account of media use. In his doing so, he was, for me, inspiring.

Jon E Worren - Toronto

I was deeply saddened by the news of Roger Silverstone's death. I came to know Roger when he was my dissertation supervisor during my Master's studies in Media & Communication at LSE in 1999-2000. I will always remember Roger for the insights and perspectives he provided in that capacity. Roger's warmth and enthusiasm was a great inspiration for me and the other students at LSE and he was one of the main contributors in making my studies at LSE an unforgettable experience. My thoughts are with Roger's family and the staff at LSE.

Mark Woods - Media & Communications 2005/6 - LSE

I am extremely saddened to hear of Professor Roger Silverstone's passing; he was a wonderful teacher and someone whom I will miss greatly. His contagious smile and creative humour was so refreshing after a hike through the busy streets of London. I will miss his words that opened my eyes to a whole new way of engaging with the mediated world. Despite being in the presence of such intellectual greatness my own petty insecurities were always quashed by his charming character and conversations always ended far too soon.

I am saddened that I won't get the opportunity to thank him for all he has done. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the countless students he has inspired along the way.

Dr Edgar A. Whitley - Reader in Information Systems - LSE

Information systems, like many parts of the School, were greatly influenced both by Roger and his ideas and I had the privilege to be there as he developed the interdisciplinary Media@LSE group into the fully fledged Department that he was so proud of.

On a personal note, Vivien and I have particularly fond memories of bumping, quite by chance, into Roger and Jennifer in Andratx where they had a house. They invited us to join them a few days later and we visited a wonderful local art gallery that we would never have known existed.

 

 

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Yi Yang - MSc  Student, Media and Communications by Research 2004-5 - LSE

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Roger is a witty man with a warm heart. He was my dissertation supervisor when I was at the LSE from 2004 to 2005 doing my MSc in Media and Communications (by Research). Under his supervision, I went into the beautiful yet bewildering world of media and communications. He led me through the complex web of theories and practices with ease. I could still remember vividly the lecture he gave about the Frankfurt School of Communication theorists. With the scope of his knowledge and a touch of humour, he challenged us to rethink the power and processes within the communication scope and be responsible to the world we live in as media specialists.

I also know Roger personally as I had to constantly remind him that he is my dissertation supervisor. He was very sincere and responsible all along guiding me to the right direction to see a new light that fell on my trouble and my suffering. By reminding me the media should be in essence within the grasp of the general public, Roger made me rethink what public service should really stand for. Outside the intellectual scope, Professor Silverstone was very kind to me by caring about what I should do after graduation. He wrote me one of those really moving and sincere recommendation letters and asked me to keep him updated of what future unfolds for me. He was a fatherly figure.

Last December when I went back for my graduation ceremony, we had a nice and warm chat. He shook my hands by wishing me the best with all the love in world. This was a picture taken with him and my mother and will forever be embedded in my memory. He will be sorely missed.  

Jinglang Yang - MSc in Media and Communications Regulation and Policy 2004-2005. Now:  Vice President, A8 Music Ltd., Beijing, China.

Professor Roger Silverstone, the most passionate media icon I have met, is always and will live vivid in my mind and heart forever.

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Christian Zarro - MSc Student - LSE

Dear Roger, I will never forget you.

Feifei Zhao - MSc Student - LSE

I'm shocked to hear the news. Roger was my dissertation tutor last year. He was a great teacher and a lovable man. I enjoyed his books and lectures, which sounded  like poetry. Hope he rest in peace.

Peng Zou - MSc Student - LSE

I have only known Roger Silverstone for the course of my MSc studies, but I think I have learnt a great deal about the academic studies and being a decent person from him. He is intellectually stimulating and provoked me to take further steps into academic research in the field of media studies. He is also an extremely nice person that even someone like me who only met him for very few occasions would have been a beneficiary of his kindness. I am so honoured and proud that I have had him being my supervisor, and I am sure he will continue to be a great influence in my future studies.

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