Richard Walker, HBP's man of letters, retires
Richard Walker could well be regarded as the “man of letters” of the Human Brain Project (HBP).
For it was Richard who took the vision of Henry Markram and a group of scientific leaders, and wove their creative ideas and compelling arguments into a coherent narrative: the formal written project proposal which convinced the European Commission to select the Human Brain Project as one of its two first Future and Emerging Technology Flagships, which have dramatically expanded the scale of European science projects.
Given scope and projected duration of the project, plus the broad range of disciplines involved in the HBP – from neuroscience, through computer science, to medicine - and its hundred-plus partner institutions, across Europe and beyond, the project proposal ran to many hundreds of pages. While it contained inputs from many, the whole was pulled together by Richard, and many of the key sections bear the hallmarks of his elegant and convincing prose style.
Richard has worked as scientific writer and editor for Henry Markram’s Blue Brain Project at the EPFL for eight years now. In addition to his major contribution to the HBP, Richard also helped to shape the BBP’s numerous high-profile articles, published in leading scientific journals.
Richard has now embarked on a new challenge, retirement, which he will surely master in the same inimitable style that he approached his academic duties. He will be retiring in the Lausanne region, so the EPFL contingent of HBP will at least be able to continue to enjoy his choral talents. I’m sure that all of us at the HBP will join me in thanking Richard for all that he has done for the project and wishing him and his wife Mappet the very best in this new chapter in their lives.
The Human Brain Project