Society News

Bob Audley

It is with great sadness that we have learnt that Bob Audley, who was EPS Hon. Secretary between 1962 – 1964 and President between 1975 – 1976, died last Friday (31st July 2020).
Along with AR Jonckheere and Tim Shallice, he was one of the primary figures in the brief flowering of mathematical psychology in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. It included work on mathematical learning theory and decision making – Audley’s (1960, Psyc Rev) Theory of Choice remains an important landmark paper. Later he worked on reaction times, map cognition, and, perhaps most importantly, he triggered the development of research into the psychology of medical accidents in the 1990s (Medical Accidents by C Vincent, M. Ennis & RJ Audley OUP, 1993).
Audley steered the UCL department of psychology through the years of the Thatcher cuts so that the department emerged from the 1980s bigger and stronger than at the beginning of the decade. At a national level, he was a major figure in UK psychology and he successfully argued in parliament that our discipline should be classified and funded as a laboratory-based biological science rather than as a social science.
As such, Bob Audley had a significant impact on EPS members and the direction of our discipline. We are most grateful to his contribution to the Society.