Hans and Sybil Eysenck
At my last meeting with Hans Eysenck in 1992 there was the possibility of editing a book of his major writings. We sat down and began to make a list of the main themes to his work, which such a book would have to cover. We got to double figures in main themes and he was still going strong, and I was beginning to envisage a series rather than a volume, so we agreed to stick to just the 'main' main themes.
His patience showed academically, building up the momentum to his ideas, meticulously, piece by piece. I edited a special edition of the Bethlem & Maudsley Gazette for him in spring 1983 to celebrate his retirement. He wrote an article on his forty years at the Maudsley and he chose to sum up his contribution in rather a modest way in the second to last sentence. 'The events of the past forty years suggest that progress may be slow, but it is also inexorable', and this again reminds me how as a profession and discipline we have had to continue to combine patience with steely resolve to underpin the inexorable growth of psychology and its applications.
BPS President 2005
In discussing my work with Hans, my PhD emerged, a study of the development of social stereotyping and social conformity in children from the age of 8 through to 16 years, and Hans agreed to be my supervisor.First, though, I had to gather together the materials necessary for the study, and this started with tennis and squash racquets, because supervision was invariably organised around one type of court or another. His sporting prowess was legendary. Local Camberwell sayings included 'Ne'er cast a clout till Eysenck's out', and of course there is the well known poem beginning 'In the Spring a livelier iris comes upon the burnished dove, In the Spring Professor Eysenck lightly dreams of forty love'. But he was never competitive in his supervision, would never try to score points - he was just endlessly patient and profoundly intelligent.
Dr. Graham Powell