A Tribute to John Reid, 1942-2021


John Reid

The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation (JCMF) was very sad to hear of the recent passing of our colleague John Reid.

John was a Physicist at Aberdeen University for about 40 years. He retired in 2007 and kept his connection as Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences. He greatly admired the work of James Clerk Maxwell (a former professor in Aberdeen) so he became a Trustee of the JCMF in 2008 and gave us great support, wisdom and company in that role until stepping down in 2020.

He wrote a very interesting and entertaining memoir of his own life, interests and career. He describes his choice of career as being that of "a graduate who stayed behind." He notes that he taught a huge range of courses over his career and the list covers an impressive swathe of the physics curriculum! He was passionate about communicating science to his students and a wider audience.

Over many years, alongside his work as a physics lecturer at Aberdeen University, he produced a great deal of informative and scholarly material on the work of Maxwell, and indeed on other topics in the history of science. His colleague Dr Ben Marsden notes for example that he was a "vigorous and untiring advocate for the University's scientific instrument collection".

Some of his excellent public outreach work on Maxwell can be found here and on his Aberdeen website.

His colleagues in the JCMF will miss him.

27 February 2021