Keith Pavitt died

Richard R. Nelson

Columbia University, New York, USA


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13th January 1937 20th December 2002

Keith Pavitt died on 20 December, 2002, in his home in Lewes. His leaving is a great loss to the community of scholars who study technological change. Members of this community reside in many different countries, and have their original training in a wide variety of disciplines. Yet the community speaks a common language, and is held together by strong bonds of mutual respect and appreciation. That we do is in large part due to Keith.

Thirty years ago there was no such community. Keith was one of the original founders. His research and teaching, centered at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, played an absolutely central role in its development and shaping. Many of us are Keith's students, literally. All of us are Keith's students in that we have learned so much from him.

Research Policy for many years has been the primary journal of the community. We all read it, and when we want especially to communicate our research to fellow members, we try to publish here. Keith is a central reason why Research Policy is the communication nexus of our community. It is appropriate, and sad, to commemorate him here.

Perhaps more than any other person, Keith had a feel for the scope and diversity of the community, as well as for what held us together. We all will miss him. And we will remember him with appreciation and deep affection.