Fergus Campbell, FRS

Prof. Fergus Campbell was my supervisor in neurophysiology at Cambridge and the first real scientist I had ever worked with. His claim to fame was being able to demonstrate that the human brain divides incoming visual information into spatial frequency bands, a bit like Fourier Analysis.

I worked in Fergus’ lab at weekends for about a year before becoming his research student. We did a great deal of curiosity-driven research (what other type is there?) using string and sealing wax apparatus. Some of this was published but we managed to raise almost no grant money because the work was not directly derived from anything anyone else was doing.

Drawing faces seems significantly easier on a computer screen than using pencil and paper. The power to erase errors completely and to move whole subsections of an image around allows for more confidence and the ability to experiment freely. This caricature was drawn for his retirement festspiel, although Fergus was determined never to stop work.

I often miss his ridiculous enthusiasm.