The Institute of Population Ageing is deeply saddened by the death of Professor Steve Rayner, founding director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society.
Steve, the James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization, was a loyal friend, colleague and strong supporter of the work of the Institute of Population Ageing. Steve's Institute was the first to bear the name of James Martin, and in 2005, along with the Institute of Population Ageing and the Environmental Change Institute, it became the first of the 3 core Institutes of the newly founded James Martin School for the 21st Century (Oxford Martin School).
Steve was an old-school academic. He combined inspirational ideas with true scholarship. He did not suffer fools and he spoke his mind openly, articulating and demonstrating an expansive knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the modern world and its challenges. He cared little for the intricacies of university politics, he was honest and loyal to the end. An intellectually stimulating, supportive and constructive colleague, he was instrumental in the early development of many aspects of the Institute of Population Ageing. He was a kind and generous friend, there to celebrate our successes, there to commiserate with our knock-backs. He truly understood academic life, the struggles of making an impact while retaining absolute academic integrity, and the challenge of trying to do something a little different within the University of Oxford. He will be missed as a gracious friend and very valued colleague.