Professor Simon J McQueen-Mason
I was very shocked and saddened when I heard of Simon’s passing. First, I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Especially to his children, Ian and Sofia, I know no one could fill the space of your father, but from my heart, I hope good mentors as Simon was to so many of us cross your lives.
These last days I have been thinking of how he had impacted not only my life but many people, and I would like to share why Simon was so important to me.
I still remember the day I met Simon, I had the chance to talk with him during the coffee break of a workshop, and at some point, he invited me to do part of my Ph.D. at his lab. I can’t believe it, I had been looking for this opportunity for so long, and things could have been different if it wasn’t for that talk. It was May 2019, and when I arrived at CNAP in March 2020, with the starting pandemic, he thought his first job was to convince me that maybe the best for me was to return to Brazil and stay close to my family. And he did that because we always think about our wellness, and at that point, we had no idea what was expecting us. But I said why it was important to me he supported my decision to stay.
Due to the pandemic, we never met in person besides that coffee break; however, with the time I had spent at CNAP, I could feel the good energy he nurtured over the years. I said many times, still sure of it, that I couldn’t have gone for it if I was in another place. From the Zoom meeting, I could have the best example of leadership, we’re always concerned about our well-being. During our weekly lab meetings, I could see how he always inspired us as scientists and created a place where great ideas and creative thinking to find sustainable solutions for the place were welcome.
I believe Simon had a gift of bringing out the best of us; he believed in people, which is why he impacted many lives.
To honor Simon and his importance to me, I’ll do my best to keep my faith in humans, help the world look for the solutions we need, and try someday to be a good mentor and help others find their ways.
Simon, thank you for everything! I’ll miss you and rest in peace.