Professor Stuart Sutherland 1927-98
Stuart Sutherland's death a few days ago deprives Sussex of one of its most significant and colourful personalities. After reading PPP at Oxford and winning the John Locke Prize in Mental Philosophy he worked on shape discrimination in octopuses and other animals with J Z Young in Naples. From a University Lectureship in Oxford he was appointed in 1964 to head the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology at the infant University of Sussex, where he spent the rest of his academic life. Under its autocratic but always benevolent Chairman, the Lab quickly became one of the most prestigious psychology departments in Britain - or, indeed, anywhere - supplying talent to Cambridge, Glasgow, Princeton and Edinburgh. Stuart's judgment was much sought after by colleagues and feared by the readers of his pungent book reviews. His famous book Breakdown broke new ground in the public airing of private agonies, and helped a number of readers to cope with their own psychological problems. His last book - Irrationality - has some rude things to say about judges, generals and financiers. He was an impossible person to deal with, but all who could survive his insults thought the world of him.
(Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Emeritus Professor at Sussex)
Friday 20th November 1998