John Graham Ramsay

I first got to know John by reading his 1967 seminal book during the last year of my Master’s degree in Grenoble to the suggestion of my supervisor Pierre Vialon who was spending this year on sabbatical in Iran. I read the book little by little throughout the year. I was absolutely fascinated. It is the only scientific book that I read from beginning to end without skipping a line. In fact, such a quantitative approach was not something I had encountered before in my traditional geology courses. His idea of quantifying in order to understand inspired my entire professional life leading me to engage in research on the mechanisms of rock deformation.

I then met John personally at numerous conferences and field trips in various countries. During all these meetings what always struck me was John’s benevolence. He gave his ideas and samples very freely, more interested in seeing them valued by others than in keeping them for him. He would give advice, not to go in a specific direction but rather to suggest a path and then leave people free to test it themselves and do their own research based on a rigorous approach. This is what led to the incredible success of the “Ramsay School” that has brought us together over the years and shaped the course of earth science research. Thank you John for inspiring us to lead such exciting scientific lives.

Jean-Pierre Gratier

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