In memory of Annette Karmiloff-Smith

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Our irreplaceable friend and colleague Annette Karmiloff-Smith passed away on the 19th of December, 2016. Annette was an inspirational scientist and inspirational teacher but above all an inspirational woman. A true pioneer in the study of child development she touched the lives of many across the world with her writings and teachings.

This page has been set up for people to share their recollections of Annette.  You can add your thoughts by scrolling to the bottom of the page, and using the ‘Comment’ box .  We will post them as soon as we can.

191 thoughts on “In memory of Annette Karmiloff-Smith”

  1. Just a brief word to say how shocked and saddened I was when I learnt of Annette’s demise. I knew her well through our shared passion and interest in children and young people with developmental disabilities and always found her to be the most helpful, supportive, wise, knowledgeable, industrious and committed of professionals. She was compassionate, empathic and caring regarding her client group and was an inspiration to academic clinicians such as myself. I shall miss her, but her legacy will live on.

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  2. Goodbye Annette!!
    Thank you for the many things you taught me, thank you for being been present in many important steps of my academic life, thank you for having driven me to new research perspectives.

    The Developmental Psychology has lost the most brilliant and innovative mind of our century, but your ideas will remain in the history of Psychology!

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  3. Rainer K. Silbereisen

    The International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) in 2012 gave the Major Advancement in Psychological Science Prize to Annette. As Past President on that occasion I had many impressive and pleasurable exchanges with her – a wonderful scientist and a true role model for entire generations of researchers in cutting-edge fields. What a loss! My heartfelt sympathy goes to the family and all her friends.

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  4. When I was at Sussex University, Annette almost became a colleague, but it did not happen. Later she we went to London. I wish we had been able to collaborate closely instead of only meeting occasionally, as I feel many of her ideas (e.g. about representational redescription, about the complexities of epigenetic processes, about the shallowness of much empirical research on what children can do when, and the need for multiple levels of analysis (chemical, neural, forms of representation, …) could have informed and accelerated what I was trying to do and perhaps her ideas might have gained something from the philosophical-engineering-computational-evolutionary considerations with which I still struggle. But the opportunities to interact were rare, and now there will not be more. The splendid online video recordings of some of her lectures will be partial compensation.

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  5. I will greatly miss Annette. We had so many interesting discussions over the years. I listened in appreciation to her ability to mix deep and grounded theoretical ideas with new and lively research questions. A talk by Annette was not to be missed. She was also great to work with. We had a slight disagreement about 10 years ago about micro-genetic methods and I thought that we might fall out about it. However, as ever, Annette thought about our conversation and came back with an excellent analysis of our positions and the resolution. She was always inspiring and her ideas will live on. My heartfelt wishes to her family and close colleagues.

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  6. I had hoped to be able to say this directly to her but it wasn’t meant to be. In the 30 minutes or so that she agreed to meet me to discuss an application for funding last year, she showed more support, understanding and willingness to help than most people I’ve known in academia in the last 20 years. I remember leaving her office thinking “there are not enough people like her around”. My heartfelt condolences to her family for their loss.

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  7. Annette was a inspirational role-model for me at every stage of my academic career. She always had something new to contribute to the way I approached my work as a rounded academic. She is deeply missed.

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  8. I was very sorry to discover this afternoon that Annette has died. I think I only met her once, but was as struck by her friendly and natural informality as by her exceptional research and writing. My condolences to her family.

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  9. I found Annette’s research extremely inspirational from the moment I first came across it. When meeting her I found her kindness and interest in everyone around her just as remarkable. Hearing about her life’s story at a cbcd seminar, I think no one in the room could help but be blown away by the range of things she had done. She will be missed very much.

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  10. I am very sad that her family and the research world have lost Annette. She was a great mentor, her intellect challenged us while her kindness supported us. I remember very well the welcoming email she sent me when I was offered a job at Birkbeck, which made me look forward to starting this new position.

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  11. It’s been very moving to scroll through these many testaments of heartfelt admiration and affection by so many colleagues and friends of Annette. I only met Annette in person a handful of times. The first time, as an Undergraduate student, in St Andrews. She came to give a lecture that I, as so many others, had been looking forward to for weeks. After her talk, a vivid discussion ensued. We all asked questions, at the same time timid and enthusiastic, in the presence of such an intellectual giant. At some point she declared that she was going to take notes so to be able to further think about what we had said! To have this dialogue, being taken seriously despite my blatant inexperience was amazing, and I saw some of the curiosity and generosity you all described.
    Through her books and papers, to me Annette embodies everything that I love about academia.

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  12. I’m so shocked and saddened by the news of Annette’s passing. She was a fantastic colleague who was always generous with her time and insights, despite being a scientist of the highest possible standing. She was a mentor to many, and an inspiration to all.

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  13. It is a great loss to the field but she left much for other researchers to build on. She was exemplary in the way she integrated findings from typical and atypical development to understand developmental processes in brain and mind.

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  14. Annette jointly supervised my MSc project, and I remember feeling incredibly lucky when she agreed to do so. I would not even have considered doing a PhD if she had not intervened. She was a fantastic mentor, encouraging me to take risks and find topics that mattered theoretically. She taught me that I should stand up for my science and I know I am a much more confident scientist as a result. As many others have said, she always made time for her students, even when she was terribly busy. She would also reach out in the unexpected ways, for example, doing a small job for her when money was short, a bit of chocolate when one needed cheering up, or flowers when you had an accident. She was also fun: I remember that she asked me to ask for dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant at the end of a consultancy project (which we got!). Needless to say, Annette leaves behind an incredible scientific legacy. While working with her, the thing that stood out to me was her approach to science. Despite spotting flaws in a talk, she would choose to highlight a nugget of theory/ application that was genuinely interesting. She was my scientific hero and I will miss her terribly.

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  15. Annette has been a colleague and friend since she joined the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in 1982. I remember her for her unswerving belief in development as a driver of modularisation of cognitive abilities and in the restructuring of mental representations over time. The excellence of her empirical work was matched by the brilliance of her theoretical conceptualisations. In this way she was instrumental in shifting the emphasis from observations of children’s behaviour to the underlying internal representations and her representation redescription hypothesis is a lasting contribution to theories of cognitive development.

    A few months ago Annette asked me to contribute to one of the WIPS (Women in Psychology) lectures she had initiated at Birkbeck. We had not yet set a date, and I was touched that she insisted on finalising the arrangements for this event, while she was already ill and undergoing treatment. I offered to make the arrangements myself, but she would have none of it. She loved the idea that this should not be a lecture, but a conversation, and she carefully chose my conversation partners. I firmly expected Annette to be present on the day. And so she will, in spirit.

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  16. Annette was, to be frank, an occasionally terrifying person to work with. She once caught be eating the sandwiches after a seminar that I hadn’t been to, and gave me a hell of a roasting.

    This feistiness was at the heart of what made her unique as a thinker. Unlike many, she was never shy to make it clear who exactly she disagreed with – ‘contra Fodor’ was a phrase that cropped up again and again. And she was not scared to ask the same question over and over at seminars – ad nauseam, because she knew she was right. ‘Don’t you think you need a cross-syndrome comparison to make these claims?’ and ‘what about the developmental perspective on this?’ were her two favourites.

    I was submitting a manuscript recently to the journal Developmental Psychology and saw that one of the pre-submission questions was: ‘In my cover letter I have included a brief summary of why the paper is about developmental processes rather than about individual differences over a very limited age range’ – a question that, in good possibility, was a direct consequence of her unique theoretical contribution. I emailed her to let her know about this. She was pleased, but not satisfied. There were still people out there needing convincing.

    There aren’t enough people like Annette in science. She will be much, much missed.

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  17. Annette has been a powerful influence on me both personally and in my research. She and Mark encouraged me to apply for a Junior Lecturer position at Birkbeck and championed me when no other department in the UK would even invite me for an interview. They welcomed me into the CBCD and immediately made me feel part of a large, vibrant, fiercely intellectual family that quickly influenced the direction of my own research. Before arriving at Birkbeck I had struggled to reconcile my passion for communicating science and ensuring that all my work had real-world consequences with the pursuit of rigorous, theory-driven science. Annette straddled these approaches with apparent ease. Her decades of work both in pioneering developmental cognitive neuroscience whilst also working with the media to ensure her latest scientific insights were communicated to the parents and practitioners who could directly benefit from them was awe inspiring (e.g. Baby It’s You with Channel 4, Baby Bright with Abbey Home Media, and her work with P&G and Nursery World). She understood that parenting was stressful enough without experts chastising parents for not reaching ideals. Her approach was to provide evidence-based advice and insight into development whilst also being pragmatic. She hated pseudo-science or scientists who used their title to peddle opinion without any scientific basis.

    Annette’s passion for debunking unfounded claims about development lead to our collaborating on a project examining the influence of toddler touchscreen use on social and cognitive development. This project would never have gotten off the ground without Annette’s vision and guidance. She was a fierce defender of our approach to this controversial research question at public festivals, conferences and in the media, even when this lead to personal attacks. She showed me how science that is worth doing, is worth fighting for in the public eye and must be communicated passionately and accurately if science is to justify its value to society, especially in our time of ‘post-truth’.

    Over the last few months, as Annette battled against her illness she continued to shape the direction of our project and be excited about what we would find, even as it became clear that she may not see its conclusion. As is evident in the comments and reminiscences already on this page, Annette’s place in the history of Psychological Science is already guaranteed not just through her writings but through the people, like myself that were inspired to strive to be better scientists because of her. I will miss Annette terribly.

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  18. I was very sorry to hear this sad news. We have lost a role model and inspirational scientist, always full of energy, warmth and kindness on the occasions I was lucky enough to meet her. My heartfelt sympathies are with Mark and with Annette’s children, of whom she talked about a lot and was clearly so very proud.

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  19. It is hard to believe we have lost Annette – she was always so full of life, bursting with ideas, ready for the next adventure. Reading the many tributes here, it is clear what a huge hole she leaves in many, many hearts – and it is impossible to imagine the depth of loss for Mark, her daughters and family.
    I was privileged to get to know Annette as a PhD student at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in the late 80’s. She was part of the magnificent and scary array of talent crammed into an old house on Gordon Square: John Morton, Uta Frith, Alan Leslie, Rick Cromer, Mark Johnson… Annette was stylish, glamorous, witty, and ferociously intelligent. She talked to everyone as an equal and peer – and this was perhaps part of what made her so youthful. She was genuinely interested in everyone’s ideas and personal lives – and she spoke about her science and her daughters with equal passion. She was a fantastic role model then, and continued to be throughout her life, to so many people. I hope Annette knew how loved and admired she was – and I hope her students know how proud she was of them, and how happy their successes made her.

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  20. I am very sad to hear this news. Annette was a fantastic role model to all academics, in her generosity of spirit, her energy and her determination to challenge conventional wisdom while ensuring she kept her feet on the ground. I feel myself very lucky to have been able to work with her. Whenever I have pondered an academic issue, I have always asked myself “what would Annette say?” and sometimes been fortunate to find out in person. This sums up for me, and I suspect for many others, the lasting affect she will continue to have on the discipline many years hence. Her way of thinking has changed the discipline. It is sad to think, as many have already said, that she will not be here in person to ask us the challenging questions we need to refocus out thoughts, and to give the encouragement and warm support she so generously gifted. I am sure she will live on in our minds and hearts and I will continue to ask myself what she would have thought as I am sure others will too.

    I knew Annette for nigh on 20 years from when I first visited her group at ICH as a young post-doc trying to understand the complexity of ‘development itself’. She always, in the face of sometimes fierce opposition, championed a developmental perspective and it has been great to see, 20 years on, her ideas pushing aside the predominant, non-developmental perspectives that were being used to explain developmental disorders in the 90s. Her influence on many of the new generation of developmental psychologists in the UK and overseas has been immense and will continue. She has shown how to be a true academic leader by setting an example both intellectually and personally. Sadly there are many in the academic world who are overly self-interested and competitive, but Annette always operated on a higher plane, and through her generosity showed us all the value in inspiring, encouraging and mentoring others. I am proud to have known her and to have been inspired by her.

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  21. At my first conference presentation in California Annette saw that I was nervous and after the talk she came over and insisted on celebratory cocktails. I was so grateful for her interest and support, not to mention the hilarious anecdotes about previous cocktail experiences in San Diego! And since then her mentorship has played a huge role in my career. I wish I’d told Annette how often her words and advice come to mind – from grant writing to relationships to the best crime drama to watch! The cbcd won’t be the same without her and I’ll miss her very much.

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  22. It is impossible to sufficiently say what Annette meant to me. Without her I would never have been given the amazing opportunities that have changed my life, she took a chance on me, for no reason at all, she never made me feel stupid, although I frequently was, she was an incredibly positive and encouraging mentor, and she opened my eyes to the pointlessness of my own doubts and insecurities. She was also a friend, who cared greatly about her students as people, remembering personal details and fighting fiercely to protect us. I, as so many others, wouldn’t be the same without her, there are too many things that will be missed to list, so I remember her happily telling stories of the past, drinking red wine, and always making time for us even though she was so in demand. I hope we can make her proud, she was the best. Thank you Annette

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  23. So sad to hear of Annette’s passing. As many others have written here, Annette’s work inspired me as a student and will continue to do so into the future.

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  24. I was one of the first with Williams syndrome to see her. Back when she first was doing her research
    An amazing Kind funny. And helpful when I came up to London
    To see her.

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  25. Annette was a treasure and the Williams Syndrome Foundation was so fortunate to have had her support and advice for so many years. As a paediatrician linked to the Foundation, I had the privilege of learning from her research work; watching how she steered her post docs in their research with insight and firmness; being grateful for her wisdom and guidance; and observing the warmth and affection the William’s individuals and families had for her as a person.
    She recognised what these individuals might offer science and what science might offer them. She was highly ethical in her approach to her work with the children. I am sure they will remember many happy times spent with her and her students in the lab and as adults they have gained many insights into both their strengths and their weaknesses.
    On behalf of myself and colleagues within the Foundation, can I thank her family for allowing us to monopolise so much of her valuable time in what was too short a life. She led the way in understanding the importance of the ‘atypical’ in understanding the ‘typical’. She recognised that Williams Syndrome was one key which might help to begin to unlock the links between our genes and the psychology of human development and thus of mankind. It was indeed a privilege to have crossed her path and listened to her wisdom. We will all miss a very loyal friend and a remarkable lady.

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  26. Annette was indeed unique, so vibrant, smart, funny, and insightful. She exuded generosity of spirit more than anyone else I know. On more than one occasion she literally took my breath away with the quality of questions she asked speakers at the MRC CDU, getting to the heart of the matter so elegantly, while encouraging and fostering researchers. I’d never seen academics behaving like that before! She was always so generous with her PhD students, Sarah (Paterson) and I were supervised by her at the same time, and benefitted greatly from her time and inclusivity, and loved hearing the hysterical tales she would tell at conferences. It is such sad news, and my thoughts are with Mark and her family.

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  27. I’ve thought a while before posting here, given my status as Annette’s husband (we were together as a couple for 28 years) as well as one of her scientific collaborators. I’d known Annette as a colleague for several years before it became evident that her thinking, rooted in Piaget but going beyond, and my own, rooted in Waddington and other biological development theorists, had a natural synergy. We had much to learn from each other scientifically, and in the course of this discovered other shared interests outside of science, and then formed a relationship that blossomed beyond being just colleagues.

    As others have noted, Annette’s approach to science was characterized by a fierce curiosity, ambition (of a positive kind), and breadth of knowledge from philosophy to molecular genetics. But despite all her fame and intellectual success, individual people remained at the forefront of her approach to science. Many a Sunday afternoon was spent on the phone to parents of children she had seen in the lab, counseling and advising on their child. And appointments with individual undergraduates who needed advice were usually given top priority over other meetings (often, I confess, to my own annoyance).

    In the days before she died Annette had some periods of consciousness, albeit that she was confused by the strong medication the (excellent) hospice had administered. In one of these periods she urgently asked me to help her prepare for her lecture. Sadly, we will never now hear that final lecture.

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    1. I am Annette’s brother Peter. Annette was indeed a remarkable person as is Mark who lovingly supported her for many years and right to the very end of her life.

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  28. Annette opened my eyes to what it really means to study “development” in atypical development, which heavily influenced the course of my autism research ever since. She was also a great source of inspiration both as a scientist and as a person – intellectual, sharp, curious, innovative, enthusiastic, kind, supportive, caring and down to earth. It was a great privilege that I could be her colleague in the CBCD, and I miss her. My thoughts are with Mark, her family and friends.

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  29. I am so very very sad at this tragic news. Annette had so much more to do and life to live. Annette was an inspiration to so many of my generation (the same as Annette’s) but the next generation as well. I am not in her academic field (mine is mathematics and mathematics education) but I was fortunate enough to meet Annette through a mutual friend. What an amazing mind, and so much fun to be with, brilliant and beautiful; brave scientifically and always so stylish – her earrings! To be honest I was always slightly in awe of her powerful intellect; I was and am proud to be her friend. She was magnificent in the face of pain from arthritis over many years. My husband Richard and I will always remember the fabulous party she and Mark held in the ‘barn’ with her wonderful family and so many friends from all over the world. I feel so privileged to have met this pioneering woman. I will miss her terribly. Celia.

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  30. It is difficult for me to convey just what a force of nature Annette was. Her energy, enthusiasm and curiosity were seemingly boundless. She was my academic “Tiger Mum” here at Birkbeck, and how I wish I had taken the opportunity to tell her just how critical her support and encouragement has been to me. She was truly inspirational and will be deeply missed. My thoughts are with her family.

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  31. My sincere condolences go out to Mark Johnson and Annette’s children. My conversations with her centered on science but always ended with you. Your lives and happiness were always on her mind (even in email communication). I also send my condolences to all her present and former students. While I understand the last weeks must have been exceptionally difficult for you, I know how often you would have entered her thoughts. She cared for you all so much.

    Since Annette started the London Downs project in 2013, she has been my most frequent “pen pal”, my collaborator, and I am honored to say, my friend. She has been a “tenure-track” mentor for me, supporting me in so many ways (too numerous to name). Every time she reached out to me was a gift. I feel an emptiness without her; we all will. Words don’t quite capture the full extent of what a tremendously “real” and caring person Annette was to all. I am so grateful that I had the privilege to get to know her over these last few years.

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  32. When I was working on my comprehensive exams in grad school, I emailed her out of the blue with questions about computational models of development. I had never met her and I didn’t expect a response to a random student she had never met. I was overwhelmed by the long, thoughtful response to my questions that helped me think more deeply about development. Her generosity and brilliance left a deep impression on me. She made tremendous intellectual contributions through her work and provided a stellar example for researchers and mentors in developmental science.

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  33. The sadness is huge. It feels like an unfinished conversation – unfair, stopped before its time, not possible. She should not have gone.
    We met Annette in 1990 as Sue Leekam wrote. Her excitement about our work and our talks put us on cloud nine. We were bowled over by her as a person – this attractive, dynamic, friendly, easy person – who also happened to be so famous. Her encouragement meant a lot then, and continued to mean a lot throughout. Even when she didn’t agree with our views or interpretations she continued to throw new opportunities our way. Her love of new ideas and discoveries was always paramount – disagreement seemed only to excite her. Her women-only 70th birthday party in that wonderful house was an amazing event; and it typified her – unusual, quirky, beautiful, daring, liking everything that was outside of the ordinary. We will miss her.

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  34. Annette was an inspirational and brilliant woman who changed the course of my life. I applied for a PhD with her colleague, and Annette intercepted the application then called me up at home and told me why I didn’t really want to do a PhD with anyone but her! She was very convincing and she was right. I remember our first meeting, where I couldn’t believe that such an incredible and fascinating woman had any interest at all in working with me! Throughout the course of that PhD and beyond, it was Annette’s unfailing enthusiasm for science and for life, and her generosity as a supervisor and mentor that made her unlike anyone else I have ever met.

    Evenings out with Annette were legendary, and she had the ability to tell a yarn that had us all captivated all evening. I will remember her boldness, her zest, her curiosity, her sharp-mind, her never-ending sense of fun, her capacity to surprise, and her encouragement to junior colleagues to follow their own path in life and in science. She always had more faith in me than I had in myself and for this I am also grateful. This was very powerful and is something that I often remember when interacting with my own students and junior colleagues to this day.

    When I was debating whether to train as a clinician, it was Annette who changed the course of my life for the second time when she’s took me out to the local wine bar and told me many inspiring stories personal to her that helped me realise I had no choice but to follow my passion.

    Annette’s untimely death is a tragic loss to the scientific community. She was a wonderful human being. My thoughts are with her lovely Mark and her adored family.

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  35. Vasu Reddy and I both remember meeting Annette for the first time in 1990 at the Stirling European Developmental Psychology Conference in the cafe at lunchtime. She immediately oriented to both of us in such an amazing way, showing enthusiasm for our papers and encouragement. We were both junior in the field and this generous support and sharing of intellectual energy inspired us both. Annette remained ever-supportive through my career. Her ideas in developmental psychology were pioneering and provided a catalyst for a new way of thinking for all of us. From the content of my reading groups in the 90s to the content of my developmental master’s courses in the following decade, Annette’s innovation, intellect and elegance guided me and generations of my students. She was the person who lit the path of development science for all of us.

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  36. My mind is filled with images of beautiful smiling Annette and hearing her speak on everything –brilliant lectures, contentious discussions, our personal lives, children, life, aging….. Her mind was the clearest, most original, and creative: teaching us all what it means to take development seriously in language, cognition, and especially disorders. She so inspired me and was the single most important intellectual role model I had – I only hope she knew this.

    I shall miss her forever and we all will feel her loss.

    Helen

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  37. Whoever wrote that Annette was unique, irreplaceable was so right! I first met her in about 1980 – not the happiest of times for her, but yet! She was focused, working, writing –so very insightful and creative. And more: she was so strikingly, human, compassionate, aware – and as inspiring as a human being as anything else. And she lived that, then, and always. A such loyal friend.

    Annette: I hope that you knew how important you were to me, and to so very many others. And such fun, and so funny! Rest in peace, my dear friend.

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  38. I have been very touched by Annette’s passion for her work, and that she cared so much about her students and her colleagues. Even though she was in hospital and suffering after her treatment, she still asked me to bring her our paper so could give her feedback. I have never encountered anyone with such strength and determination, and am very grateful to have Annette as a role model in life. My thoughts and sympathies are with her family.

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  39. Annette Karmiloff importantly contributed to our Max Planck Institute during its critical starting phase.
    We first met at the Stirling International Psycholinguistics Conference in 1976, where Annette presented a brilliant paper on her just finished dissertation research in Geneva. Soon after she accepted a position as Research Associate at our Institute (1978-1982). In that role, she has been of crucial importance in building up our developmental research. With Annette Karmiloff-Smith we lost a courageous thinker, a brilliant developmental scientist and, sadly, a dear and most helpful friend. See our website http://www.mpi.nl for an In Memoriam.
    Pim Levelt and Wolfgang Klein

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  40. I once told her that my greatest wish was that i’d be like her, at that age. She laughed, maybe in disbelief, I imagine there were things she knew nobody could wish for. But yes, i do wish i have her energy and endless curiosity, i wish i can make jokes about failing joints (the ‘bionic woman’, her favourite signature !), i wish i can be as kind and considerate to students and parents. I briefly worked with her on a small project looking at the language development of children with Williams Syndrome. I was very much interested in the data, solving a mystery of social cognition. She, equally, but she was also there to catch up on the child’s progress, to advise the mother and make both feel accepted and hopeful ! I felt humbled. And then there was her always remembering to ask about how i was, giving advice on what to look for in a man (you have to laugh together a lot – so true !), checking on how married life was. I wish this lasted longer, but i am happy to have been in her life. And now I’ll paint my nails red and get back to work !

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  41. Goodbye Annette, I will miss you so much. You were one of the most generous people I ever worked with, sharing ideas, inspiration, data and publications- plus some gossip as well. Even during these last months of gruesome treatments your emails managed to be witty and amusing, and I was amazed how you kept working throughout so much of it. I will treasure your last few emails as a memento.

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  42. I first met Annette in 1976. It was, I think, the first big international conference for both of us. I can’t now recall the content of her presentation, but I do remember it being immensely impressive, and it was clear to me and to others present, that here was a star in the making. As a result, she attracted a host of fans who spent a lot of time at the conference hanging out with her, absorbing her brilliance and wisdom.

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  43. Long before I met Annette, I had a figure from one of her papers on the wall in my little windowless office in the Autism Centre, Seattle. When I moved to CBCD, as for so many others I was at first intimidated to meet such a distinguished and inspirational scientist. But one of the first times I met her was in Babylab reception, when I brought my toddler in for a study. She was running some of the early visits for her study of babies with Downs’ syndrome. The little girl they were testing wanted to dance with my son, who at the time was very shy. But despite his initial reluctance, the little girl managed to charm him into it and they danced together. Annette was as delighted as I was, and took some lovely pictures that I still treasure. The thing that struck me about that day was that at a level of seniority at which most PIs would have long since left the lab, Annette was still actively involved with developing every detail of the research study. And from her conversations with the family, it was clear they had flown from the US to participate in her research because of the depth of her commitment to understanding children with developmental disorders. Her ability to combine scientific excellence with such personal connections with families and children with developmental disorders was truly inspirational. Annette will be sorely missed at CBCD and far beyond.

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  44. I found her work inspirational, and in particular her thinking about implicit/explicit processes in Beyond Modularity and related work. One particularly fond memory about her generosity was that she had very kindly agreed to be a keynote speaker in a conference we had organised for third year students, so not at all high profile. Before the conference she had a bad infection and many if not most would have called off the presentation, but she still came – and when questionnaire said it was so important to encourage the students’ interest in research and not to let them down. A real testament to her generosity and determination.

    What a loss to family, friends and the academic community.

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  45. I first met Annette in the early 1990s, when I was privileged to attend a small Cognitive Science reading group at the now defunct MRC Cognitive Development Unit. Annette was a frequent attendee (as was Mark), and for me these were formative years. Reading sections of Beyond Modularity with Annette was for me a highlight of this group, and my training, and I still consider Representational Redescription to be of foundational importance to the discipline of Cognitive Science. It is a theoretical perspective with ramifications far beyond cognitive development that are, in my view, under-appreciated.

    It has only been in the last couple of years, with us both at Birkbeck, that I finally got to work with Annette – co-supervising Suzanne’s PhD with the hope of developing a computational account of potential mechanisms that might underlie Representational Redescription. Annette always contributed insight and creativity, and joy (!), to our supervision meetings, and I will seek to continue the direction of this work as best I can.

    Beyond this, I will remember Annette’s resolve and her generosity of spirit. I witnessed this frequently in the intervening 25 years, but most recently in her concern for her students despite her ailing health. As Geoff Bird said, the world is a poorer place without her, and my thoughts are with Mark and her family.

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  46. Annette was an inspirational figure to me. Since I first saw her speak – at a workshop on explicit versus implicit learning back in the 1990s, she seemed to be an intellectual force of nature. It was a privilege to subsequently become her postdoc and then colleague. I learned so much from her. She was always progressing, keen to challenge ideas, take on whole fields, and adopt the latest methods. She was also unfailingly generous and supportive to her students and junior colleagues, and keen to ensure we had a perspective beyond the narrow confines of our research questions. It’s hard to accept that she won’t be there, along the corridor, sitting in meetings and seminars, with her calm smile and sense of fun. If I can borrow from the title of one of her seminal papers, Annette was developmental psychology itself.

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  47. Apart from her phenomenal and unique academic work, I will always remember Annette for her immense energy. She always seemed to find time and energy to be involved in so many things, and she was a true advocate for women in science. When she emailed with congratulations after my daughter was born, she also asked if I would be giving a talk at a summer school she had suggested me for; she was resolute in her view that we must not switch off while on maternity leave, and that it was possible to successfully balance an academic career with being a parent. I cannot imagine the CBCD without Annette. I only wish I had known her better. My love and thoughts to Mark and her family.

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  48. We would like some people to go on forever and stay there as a beacon, just in case we’d like to discuss something, ask an opinion or share a thought. Thinking of Annette, this is what I have felt even when I did not manage to get into action. My impression of her was shaped by a meeting at the CBU a very long time ago, during a student visit supported by my PhD programme in Italy. I would like to share this personal memory on this sad day. At the end of a rather inconclusive and theory-less 2-month period elsewhere, I visited a few labs. I was very excited to meet Annette, but rather intimidated. I wanted to talk theory – new theories of development, including her thinking. And I was going to brace myself and ask if by any chance she might like to contribute a chapter for a book on new developmental models that I was going to edit with my supervisor. Upon getting into her office, I knew instantly that I was in the presence of a queen – simply instantly. I did not even notice that she was small – she was (in no particular order) beautiful with some blue chunky jewellery, feminine, sexy, noble, sharply intelligent, broad-minded, something very nice between formal and informal, self-confident, open. She could also listen to little me and take me seriously. She had that gift of great minds, to make you feel that they have time for this. I thought this was amazing and generous. I was totally dazzled by this singular combination of qualities. And I was so thrilled that she agreed to contribute a chapter for my book (the great AK-S!!!!) – I am even sadder now than I was then that the silly publisher decided not to go ahead with the book (too small audience, apparently). When I wrote to her, blushing even through the letter, that the book was after all not happening, she was totally cool and gracious. Such a role model! That first impression has never been changed by later encounters, and this is a memory that I treasure. My best thoughts to her family and closer collaborators.

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  49. The Flux Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience sends their greatest sympathies to her friends and family and especially to Mark Johnson. Her significant contributions to developmental psychology will continue to influence our thinking of the nature of typical and atypical. RIP Annette Karmiloff-Smith and thank you for your life’s work.

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  50. I must admit that sitting down to read these comments and contribute to them have been both unbearably sad and heart warming. This is because so many inspiring, thought-provoking and plainly fun memories with Annette resonate through this page. Here I add some of my favourite moments.

    When we first met in person in 1999 for what could have been an incredibly intimidating PhD interview (given I had already been struck by her piece in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, read “Beyond Modularity” cover to cover, and… wanted the PhD place quite desperately), I remember being so surprised that such charisma and beauty could be bottled up into someone so petite. AND THEN came knife sharp questions, asked in an inquisitive but kind manner, like “Why do you want to study children? I hope not just because you like them” or suggestions to be precise, like “Do not just have an idea or a proposal, have a *theory* about development, even if it is so that you can prove yourself wrong”. These thoughts are telling of Annette’s indefatigable interest in studying development as cognitive change, and in going below the surface of behaviour, all intermixed with deep observations on cognition, like Yara’s famous quote on the “type writer” and the “type write.”

    I was really quite worried when I wrote after that fateful PhD interview, to say that I would very very much like to work with her, but please on attention, not on language. And Annette, just like that, said that she would send me to see “the right person” as a second supervisor, someone who turned out to be the most incredible attention thinker, Jon Driver, and the lady she described an amazing new leader in research on attention in developmental disorders, Kim Cornish. Both have shaped my thinking enormously since. Then came three amazing years with a superb team of fellow students and postdocs (Daniel Ansari, Elena Longhi, Michael Thomas, Sarah Paterson and many others) who remain friends, collaborators and… intellectual buddies, to this day. When later in my PhD I asked for her advice on where I could learn about strengths and weakness of neuroimaging techniques, Annette pointed to BJ Casey at the Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology as the leading scientist in this area and… helped me get there. Again, these are just some snippets of Annette’s incredible willingness to support, mentor and enable us, her lucky PhD students, to develop in the best possible way, and examples that I very much hope to be able to keep in mind with my own students. Later I was fortunate again to observe her alongside me as a collaborator, with countless necessary and wise words on how to manage a growing research team.

    As Daniel wrote, “Do as I say, not as I do” was Annette’s motto, to urge us to play, not just work hard. But, honestly, I could not wish more than to do as she did. Her love for literature, theatre, cinema is inspiring – wallowing in the season programme for the Renoir Cinema at the Bloomsbury Centre was quite a favourite activity, when we were at the Institute of Child Health and long thereafter. She was passionate about many past experiences, like the time spent in refugee camps, or her work as an interpreter at the UN, that famously convinced her that “she was tired of retelling others’ words, especially ones she did not endorse politically, and felt that it was time for her to say what SHE thought.”

    There are also so many examples of the amazing role model she has been to me and to so many others: being fiercely feminist; being incredibly generous with her intellectual rigour; giving time equally generously to families and support groups whose interests should drive research; fostering confidence in other women scientists; helping ALL scientists develop. But, more personally, Annette had incredibly strong links to friends old and new, bringing us together for unforgettable fun: Natasha, am I correct in saying that there was belly dancing at that amazing birthday party? More really fun moments: mhmmm… special shopping escapades in search for beautiful jewellery or red items of clothing, Kim? And Annette was also always there for really serious moments too, like some personally difficult times, during which I can remember vividly Annette telling me “Gaia, you are a fighter”; or discussions about long-term pain and resilience. The amazing mix of fun and strength is precisely what made me smile even at a very sad time, because, soon after having received her cancer diagnosis, she wrote to say: “Now I am learning to speak Italian”. This comment is a measure of Annette’s indomitable spirit, despite scary treatments and even more painful times ahead. And, Yara, I hope you will forgive me, it also reminded me of Annette laughing while recounting her “mother-of-the-bride speech” at your wedding, prepared and enunciated in perfectly accentless Italian, only to be later cornered by other wedding guests who started quizzing her, assuming that she spoke fluent Italian.

    Well, there are so many unforgettable memories, but, let’s face it, there is also a gaping hole. My thoughts are with Mark, Annette’s daughters,brothers and grandchildren for their huge loss. I hope we can all carry Annette’s indomitable spirit with us all.

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  51. I feel extremely privileged to have been at the CBCD at the same time as Annette, as it allowed me to get to know the amazing scientist and person that she was. I am especially grateful for the opportunity we had to discuss her seminal book ‘Beyond Modularity’ in our reading group a couple of months ago; she gave us a great personal insight into what drove her to write the book, enthusiastically answered our sometimes basic questions, and was not too proud to admit that even this many years later she still didn’t have all the answers. This really demonstrates Annette’s unwavering willingness to take time to encourage and support the development of new young scientists, and she will be greatly missed at the CBCD. My thoughts are with Mark, and her family in this difficult time.

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  52. This comes as a real shock after Annette’s enthusiastic appeal to us of not too long ago to attend APS conferences and spread developmental thinking to the wider field of psychology.

    I met Annette the first time at a Cognitive Science workshop in Banff, Canada, together with John Flavell and Chuck Brainerd. Annette was the great star with her work on “if you want to get ahead, get a theory!”, advice I immediately took to heart. This and her book “beyond modularity” had great influence on how we came to think about the implicit-explicit distinction in developmental research. This distinction is still a hot topic and Annette was the great inspiration.

    With my deepest sympathies for her family.

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  53. A great and bright inspirational mind.I only met her through her books and papers but I feel that my thoughts, views and methodological decissions about my work, on language development, not couldn´t be what they´re without her guide. Deeply thanks: your work allow us to understand better what it means to be a child.

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  54. Annette was one of my heroes. I’m sure she had no idea how important she was to me, or the impact she had on my life. Every time I read or write a paper on Williams syndrome, I hear Annette’s voice in my head. She was a deep thinker. The world has lost one of its greatest minds. I’m very fortunate to have known Annette as a friend too. I cherish the times we spent together. The science, the shopping -as Kim Cornish said – the night markets in China shopping for handbags, and even the minor medical emergencies (me in Hangzhou and her in San Francisco). My heart goes out to Mark and her family. I will miss you Annette, xxxx.

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  55. What an inspirational person Annette was! I was privileged to be her mentee and Research Assistant for three years recently. Her work and intellect were second to none but her personal characteristics were of most inspiration to me.

    Annette was incredibly principled and never afraid to challenge herself and others (including us!) I recall attending a talk she gave on ‘Piaget the man’ when I first started working for her. She was honest, citing both his virtues and failings. I was struck by her mischievous recollection that, as a student of the esteemed Piaget, she refused to follow accepted practice and call him ‘le patron’ because it implied they were his followers. Apparently this annoyed Piaget, but even as a student Annette was a courageous free thinker.

    Annette challenged me to improve my work and fulfil my full potential with humour and compassion. She was incredibly supportive, not only in a work context but also on a personal level, supporting my wife and I through a bereavement and ever available for a humorous chat or sage advice. My wife and I will miss her dearly. I will always feel her influence and I am thankful to have known her.

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  56. When I started at Birkbeck I wrote a review paper on developmental prosopagnosia (DP) with Martin Eimer (Towler, & Eimer, 2012). In that paper we drew upon developmental ideas to explain the pattern of results we had observed in our studies of the neural basis of DP. Because we’re not developmental psychologists by training we decided to run the first draft past Annette to see whether we had made any embarrassing mistakes. Despite having what must have been an extremely busy schedule Annette agreed to read the manuscript on a train journey and left us some very positive feedback. I’m sad to hear the news, my thoughts are with Mark and their family.

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  57. I’m so sorry to hear of Annette’s passing. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mark and all her family and friends.
    Dear colleagues, your many affectionate, respectful tributes to Annette are a testament to her lasting influence for good during her time in this world.

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  58. I have Annette to thank for the opportunity to join her exciting work with families at the Birkbeck Babylab, giving me valuable experience and inspiration. I enjoyed working with her very much. She was a generous, insightful and passionate person and my thoughts go out to her family at this time.

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  59. As a colleague at Birkbeck, Annette was supportive, intelligent, and kind. She was an important role model both for now and for the future. Like many others here, I was startled by her energy, zeal, and youthfulness. This devastating news is proving hard to take in; I am still half expecting a zappy email from her, or to see her walking head high through the department. My warmest thoughts to Mark and her daughters at this very sad time.

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  60. An incredibly sad news. An incredible women, scientist and a mentor. Annette has given me an opportunity when I was only an undergraduate student. This opportunity has changed my life for ever. I will be eternally grateful for her advice and endless support. She will be sorely missed.

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  61. So sad to hear this. I heard Annette speak at the ins conference in Acapulco in 2010 and have been inspired by her since. In particular her concept of the function of disability is so helpful.
    Inspirational and a great loss.

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  62. Great woman, great scientist, geat loss. Her work considerably shaped my view of development. I’ll remember her as an inspiring scientist who always took the time to share her view kindly with students. I have always been struck by her ability to describe the complexity of development with simple words. That was surely one of her real talent. Thank you Annette for your legacy.

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  63. Annette was my model, my inspiration and my dear friend.
    I met her first through her writings, an extraordinary combination of deep thought methodological precision and clarity of expression. Afterwards in Tel Aviv University while she was working on U-shape learning processes, then I had the honor and the pleasure to work on her side at the MRC –Cognitive Development Unit, she was then focusing on the development of notational domains and advancing the idea of using transgression to access cognitive processes.
    Just a few moths ago she was among us, at the University of Barcelona, enthusiastic, vital, elegant and so generous with her time and ideas.
    Yara and Kyra, I share your grief, we will miss her so much.

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  64. I feel privileged that I had the chance to meet and get to know Annette and become friends from across the pond. Although our time together was much too short, it was indelible, thanks to her vivid brilliance, humor and humanity. How lucky we were to share good laughs, good food and wine, and tremendous conversations. We were both translators turned Cognitive Psychologists and our talks were transforming. I loved her and respected her greatly and am grateful for the gift of knowing her. There weren’t enough years in her life, but abundant life in her years. Bless her eternally.

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  65. I met Annette when I was an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon around 1991, majoring in Cognitive Science. Before this I had no idea that I was even interested in development. Then I enrolled in a course she designed: “Human Cognition: Why a Developmental Approach is Necessary”. I didn’t know who Annette was before I took this course, but I quickly realised that I should when I saw all of the grad students taking in the class (Yuko, Rick, Randy, Priti, Shaun…). A semester later everything for me had changed—and I couldn’t understand why every cognitive scientist wasn’t interested in development! She brought a level of warmth and excitement to the class that remains unforgettable. I remember her stories about Piaget, the unpublished drafts by Jean Mandler that she had us discuss, and the way she encouraged the serial processing and parallel processing grad students to debate about which model could account for “representational redescription”. Most of all though, my interactions with her then showed me how much fun it could be to spend endless hours with others who were obsessed with science. My admiration of her initially came with a bit of terror at not meeting her high expectations. For years afterwards, Annette would fondly recall how she challenged me about something and my response was to slide down onto the floor before gathering my nerves to say something in response.

    I was so fortunate to get to know her a little better when I came to Birkbeck to do my postdoctoral work with Mark. In the years since I left the UK for Australia, I have continued to meet many others who have been similarly been touched and inspired by Annette (some of whom have posted here above). To Mark and all of Annette’s family, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  66. I am deeply saddened to hear about Annette’s untimely demise. As a post doc student, I had the opportunity to meet her a long time ago and than build a friendship that allowed me to learn from her anytime we shared meetings, dinners, ideas in front of a glass of wine. I was always struck by her simple manner and the positive impact that she had on me. It proved a turning point for me personally and scientifically. She was always so elegant and extraordinarily clever, always reaching her challenges, strict but a very compassionate human being and a great mentor. We will all miss her!

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  67. I only knew of Annette through her work, which is foundational, progressive, and inspiring. Reading these memories it becomes immediately clear that she was so much more, to so many. What a loss. My condolences to her family and friends.

    Joe Stafura

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  68. I first met Annette in 1969 when we were both students at the University of Geneva–she was doing her masters and I my junior year abroad. It was a life-changing time for me. Annette and I partnered on a project for Mimi Sinclair exploring whether Piaget’s theory had anything to say about children’s acquisition of the relative clause–we found that it did, but the really important aspect of the experience for me was that I got to work with Annette, who was (even then) a gifted researcher. And I watched first hand as she managed being a young mother and a student, and did it beautifully. I learned a great deal from Piaget, Inhelder, and Sinclair, but it was Annette who convinced me, by example, that I wanted to be a developmental psychologist. We remained close friends and colleagues for the next 47 years–a lifetime–I can’t really believe that she is gone. I will miss her terribly, as will the field, which has lost a truly extraordinary scholar and thinker.

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  69. Annette was the most inspirational and truly gifted woman in my life. As a scientist and theorist she was a pioneer, a researcher of exceptional quality that transformed the field of child development. I was honoured to have worked with Annette for 16 years. But first and foremost she was a woman – a beautiful, elegant woman with red nails, gorgeous hair and faboulous accessories! I have priceless memories of 3 hour foot massages and shopping for handbags in the night markets of shanghai. Then returned to science in the day! She was my mentor and my friend – I will miss you always Annette – kimxxxxx

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  70. Annette was simply exceptional. In her rigor, her creativity, her flair, her loyalty, her passion, and her commitment. Underlying all of this was the strongest will I have ever encountered. She held herself to the highest standard in every aspect of life, regardless of the physical or mental cost. Annette had no peer in dignity. Regardless of circumstances, wherever she went, she would be immaculately turned out, and fiercely present. Her science was stripped of laziness or mediocrity – she just did not ask boring questions, or accept easy answers.

    Annette was also a wonderful friend. And I miss her so very much.

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  71. So very sad to hear this news–Annette was so profoundly insightful about the way experience would yield development and intellectual structure–brave, and funny, and caring.

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  72. I feel so privileged that I had the chance to work with such an inspirational and amazing woman. She was always there to help and treat us with great stories and ideas. Her memory will always remain in my heart. My thoughts are with Mark, her family and friends.

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  73. Dear colleagues, friends and family of Annette! My thoughts are with you! She was my Master thesis supervisor in 2000. It was a great honor for me as she was doing great work in the field of Williams syndrome, she was a star! She will be greatly missed and leaves lots of traces behind so she will not be forgotten. Rest in peace!

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  74. La muerte de Annette nos produce una profunda tristeza. Como reflejan tantos mensajes influyó profundamente en cientos de investigadores alrededor del mundo. Fue un privilegio contar con ella en el programa de doctorado de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Disfrutamos de su amistad y nos trató siempre con una enorme generosidad.
    Gracias Annette, no te olvidamos

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  75. Annette’s picture has haunted me all day, as it sits in the background on my screen; when I’m not looking at the lively, smiling face, I’m so aware of the rings. I expect her to step out of the screen at any moment to make a gentle, helpful comment about what I’m writing.

    Brilliant, big thinker with enormous impact on psychology that went beyond her influence on developmental psychology; witty; generous; kind; unrelentingly challenging of others and herself; an enormous loss.

    I am so glad that Charlie and I were able to visit Annette about 6 weeks ago–and talk about our memories and science in equal measure. We thank you, Mark, for facilitating the visit, and wish you strength.

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  76. Annette, we will miss you! You were an outstanding scientist and a very valuable and courageous woman. I will remember your clear, acute, fast, creative and complex thinking and your ability to consider and connect many aspects of theory and observation. Collaborating with you has greatly influenced my scientific thinking, writing and teaching. Thanks so much! Your very precious and fruitful work will inspire psychological research and science for a long long time!

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  77. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with Annette, having been inspired by her work for so many years. My heart goes out to Mark and their family. In sympathy.

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  78. This is very sad news. Annette has been a major influence on the field of developmental psychology. I wish her family all the best.

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  79. I was lucky enough to have Annette out for a talk here in San Diego this past April. We had some difficulties arranging it at first because of incompatible date formats between the US and UK, which lead to is emailing back and forth at cross purposes! Annette, of course, was of good humor (or should I say, humour) throughout the mixup. When she did finally make it at the appointed date, I was lucky again in getting an exclusive lunch date with her where she gave me new insights on my own research. Her talk was typical Annette – thinking outside of the box – using Down’s syndrome as a model for Alzheimer’s. I hope her colleagues continue that work. Her talk is available at tdlc.ucsd.edu/research/DNS/videos/Karmiloff-Smith.mp4
    I’d like to apologize in advance for my mumbling/stumbling introduction; I should have let Jeff Elman give it. Her mastery of so many techniques is evident in her talk. She was talking about new work that she was excited about – talk about atypical development – what about atypical aging? She was a wonder and inspiration to us all. My thoughts go out to Mark and her family.

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  80. An immense loss for our discipline and for all who knew her personally. A true scholar. My heartfelt condolences to her family.

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  81. So sad to hear this, and my thoughts go to her family. Her papers were so deep and beautiful – still remember reading them for the first time as a trainee psychiatrist and having my thinking changed forever my every paragraph. Met her once at a group dinner, and was blown away by how genuine, interested and humble she was.

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  82. I am so sorry to learn this sad news. Annette’s death is a sad loss to those working to understand the ways in which having Down syndrome impacts on development. She and her team have recently been engaged in important and innovative work with infants and toddlers. Annette’s work, thinking and writing over many years has influenced my thinking and been hugely beneficial to our own work. Annette has given generously of her time to support research conferences and forums that we have organised over a number of years. Last year she was keynote speaker at our Down Syndrome Research Forum meeting at UCL on the important topic of individual differences. Several of her team gave exciting and cutting edge presentations on their work at this year’s Forum meeting in September in York. She will be sadly missed in our specific field but I am sure her influence will continue to shine through in the work of everyone who has been privileged to know her.

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  83. I was surprised and of course deeply saddened by the news. I got to know Annette during her time in Pittsburgh, at CMU, where she inspired me and my colleagues not only to think about cognitive development, but about how to think about fundamental processes on which higher level cognitive function is built. What I remember most, however, and I am sure will continue to do, is her indomitable spirit, and infectious laugh. As the number of heartfelt comments above attest, she will be greatly missed.

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  84. Annette was truly inspirational, in an uncompromising and extremely generous way, and this was specially true for the junior people she met, mentored and helped in her unique encouraging, no nonsense, way. We are aware of the deep intellectual debt we and developmental psychology have with her, but the most important debt is, for many of us, a deeply personal one—her special skill and dedication to promote the development of developmentalists as persons and as scientists.
    !Para siempre Annette!

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  85. I am so incredibly lucky to have had Annette Karmiloff-Smith in my life. From the moment we met, just under two years ago, she made me feel special. She had a smile that made me feel 10 feet tall. I will sorely miss that smile. Annette was a mentor, role model and friend, and I will be grateful to her always for setting me on this life trajectory. Love and sincere sympathies to her family.

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  86. I was so sorry to hear of Annette’s death. I have fond memories of going to yoga class with her many years ago, in London, of always of talking about language, development, food… She was excellent company always. I will miss her a lot, and I send my condolences to all her family.

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  87. Such sad news. I remember vividly hearing a lecture from Annette at the start of my career and being inspired – with regard to research but also teaching. She will be sorely missed.

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  88. The first time I personally met Annette she was part of the panel who interviewed me for a PhD position at the CBCD. I could barely speak English and I was extremely nervous to meet my scientist hero, but she made me feel at ease with her smile, her nice questions and ideas for discussion. I will never forget the inspirational talks about her career, all her advices, or the brilliant stories about Jean Piaget’s birthday party. I feel honoured and grateful to have met her. She will always be my ideal of a woman in science.
    My love and thoughts are with her family.

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  89. Though I never trained under or worked directly with Annette, she was a true leader and heroine in the field and her work influenced me through my entire career from undergraduate to the present day. I truly looked to guidance from Annette when I got caught up in unpleasant challenges during the “nativist period” of the 1990’s and to her leadership in the Neuroconstructivist movement. Annette never hesitated to respond kindly and wisely to a request for help and advice. In my 12 years as a faculty member in the University of California, Davis MIND Institute, one of my proudest, most enjoyable and most memorable experience was hosting Annette as a speaker in our “Distinguished Lecturer Series” (her presentations can be viewed here: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/videos/video-dls-archive.html). Annette was truly one of the most distinguished of all. She will be greatly missed but constantly celebrated

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  90. I am so sad to hear this. Annette was brilliant and wonderful, and one of the few people who I think did really deep thinking about development. She will definitely be missed. My heart goes out to Mark and her family.

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  91. My wife Susan and I are devastated by the sad news. We are crying. Much of my academic and personal life is indebted to Annette. Here is how I met Annette. In 1989, I got a scholarship from the World Bank to study in UK with a condition that I found a supervisor myself. I tried and tried without any luck. I mentioned this to James Greeno who happened to visit China. He said “I gor a perfect mentor for you. Her name is Annette Karmiloff-Smith.” When I emailed Annette, she said yes to supervise me right away without knowing anything about me. Then the Tianmen Square happened. I got into a big political trouble. My professor reported me to the governor of the province. Annette was very concerned and emailed repeatedly: “Are you okay? Are you coming?” I told her that if I showed up at her door, it meant I would be coming to London. Fortunately, the governor was sacked for being too sympathetic to the students and those like me who supported them. My professor’s report of me left not dealt with in the governor’s notebook. After a week long brainwashing session in Beijing, I arrived in London where I slept on the floor of the Chinese Embassy in the west London and received another round of brain washing. Then, the Embassy officials told us that we could leave if our supervisor could come to collect us. Otherwise, we would have more brain washing sessions. I called Annette and told her about my predicament. I felt it took only five minutes for Annette to fly her car from her Hampstead home to Ealing Broadway. She quickly whisked me out of the Embassy. She let me, a complete stranger from a faraway land, to stay in her basement apartment for free until I found my footing. That fateful day brought me to the world of Annette, which changed my life. In her Hampstead home, I met my future wife because of a party Annette and Mark threw. Because of her glowing letter I am sure, I got my first job at Queen’s University in Canada, then UC San Diego, and then now the University of Toronto. I simply could not imagine what my life would be like without Annette! Such a mentor! Such a friend! Such a scientist! I am so sad that I have lost a great friend whose insightful and sage advice I could always rely on. I hold Annette in my heart forever as my role model as a scientist, a mentor, and a friend. I strive to be like her in all these aspects. I know I am far from reaching the high bar Annette has set but will try my best to be like her. Susan and I will miss her very very much.

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  92. Every time I met Annette I was struck by her intellect, curiosity, sense of humour and wonderful sense of style. I was so much looking forward to working with her on a new project and having the privilege of spending more time with her – I’m so sorry that won’t now be possible. My thoughts are with Mark and her family who have suffered such a great loss. She will be very much missed.

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  93. Like so many on this list, I was deeply inspired by Annette’s work when I was an undergraduate and especially during my Masters on developmental psychopathology. Her papers and books formed many of the core texts for that course. As I turn around now, at my desk, I can see her name on the spine of my copy of Rethinking Innateness – it sits among a handful of texts which I like always to have to hand as I refer to them so often in discussions with colleagues and students.

    This September, I selected just twelve papers which I wanted all my new PhD students to read, regardless of their topic. There sits Annette’s seminal paper “Development itself is the key to understanding developmental disorders” alongside work by other giants of the field – Uta Frith, Dorothy Bishop, Francesca Happé and more. More recently, I was not at all surprised to find Annette’s name on a rare and timely paper reporting on an evidence based approach to understanding the influence of technology in child development. It was a welcome antidote in an area crowded with scaremongering headlines and poor quality evidence.

    I met Annette only once or twice and am sad not to have known her, expecially on reading some of the testimonies here. But her work lives on and I have no doubt it will continue to influence generations of scientists and the communities we serve.

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  94. Annette was a vivacious and intellectually curious person who illuminated everything she touched—theory, empirical studies, typical and atypical development. Always fun, always motivated to help children and parents, always interested in the growth of mind, she was also an intellectual bridge between Piaget/Inhelder’s thoughts and other schools, and so much more. She emotionally touched and intellectually influenced everyone she talked to—and what a stunningly wide circle that was. Condolences to her loving family who have lost someone they will always adore and remember.

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  95. Annette was a brilliant scientist who worked at an interdisciplinary level that few have reached. She was insightful, creative, visionary, original, perceptive, and funny. A role model for us all, with a deep moral compass. She will be deeply missed.

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  96. Annette was an inspiration for all members of the department, demonstrating not only academic brilliance but also warm concern for all aspects of people’s lives, especially their families. She gave support to many, but especially to women and the department will be diminished without her.

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  97. Annette’s passing is a huge loss to the fields of cognitive development and cognitive science. Her work on representational redescription and the role of development in disorders has been tremendously influential. She was also such a lovely person. My sincere condolences to Mark and their family.

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  98. Dear bold, beautiful Annette, we are diminished by your loss. You were an inspirational colleague, leader, teacher and friend. It was a privilege to have known you and to have worked with you. Our heart goes out to all who were close to you, and especially to Mark, Yara and Kira.

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  99. Annette has been one of the most influential developmental psychologists for my work, over many years. Her warm, insightful and constructive contributions, to my research, to my Open University teaching and to our recent ‘Developing Brains’ publication together with Mark have been so generously given. I shall miss Annette very much. My sincere condolences to Mark, and also to Yara.

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  100. It is very sad to hear of Annette’s passing. I am eternally grateful for the mentorship she provided during my stay at CBCD. Thank you, Annette, for everything.

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  101. Like many individuals in our field, I too was greatly inspired by Annette right from the time when I was an undergraduate. It has been such an honour to have collaborated and worked with her over the past few years, particularly during my PhD. Annette was not only fiercely intelligent and a huge inspiration, but she was also warm, nurturing and outrageously funny. I am so grateful that she took me under her wing, and owe much to her for where I am today. Her words will continue to encourage and inspire me. I will continue to look back with incredibly fond memories and feel so privileged to have known this wonderful woman, albeit not for long enough. My deepest sympathies are with Annette’s family at this devastating time.

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  102. I met Annette for the first time only a year ago. I was a latecomer to the academic world and somewhat nervous about what ‘academics’ might be like. At a lab meeting in my first few weeks, there was this amazing woman – I had no idea then of who Annette was, her brilliant achievements or her fascinating career – but I was instantly enraptured by this sharp, witty, curious, probing woman who wore incredible rings and had a love of biscuits. I thought that if she is in this world, then it must be ok.

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  103. I admired Annette’s work as a grad student, and when we devised an interdisciplinary PhD program in ‘language plasticity’, she was one of the first people I thought of for our advisory panel. Our graduate program is much stronger thanks to her advice and wisdom. Her visits inspired our students and faculty to think big and strive for clarity. I feel truly fortunate to have had the chance to get to know her.

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  104. Tuve el gran privilegio de conocer a la Profesora Karmiloff-Smith en San Francisco (USA) en un JPS Meeting. Además de su gran e inspirador discurso, su sencillez y cálida conversación aún permanecen en mi memoria. Su legado científico es inigualable y las próximas generaciones de investigadores en desarrollo infantil la conocerán como una de las grandes mentes que aportaron a este maravilloso campo de estudio.
    Mi condolencia, abrazo y admiración para sus familiares y amigos.

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  105. Very sad news. Annette was such an exceptionally bright and generous mind. I was privileged to meet and briefly collaborate with her. Her breadth of vision and scientific contribution have changed neuro-developmental research forever and will continue to help children in my clinical practice for decades to come. My deepest sympathies are with her family and loved ones. Thank you Annette!

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  106. First met Annette in Tel Aviv in the early 80s when we both attended a conference on stages and transitions. She was an engaging and delightful colleague whose ideas were even then making waves and changing minds. The field has lost one of it greatest minds and most compelling personalities, but her work will endure in those she influenced.

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  107. With the passing of Annette, we lost a major thinker in our discipline. Those who knew her or know of her will reflect on her and her work. Those who are starting their scientific journey will come to learn how great an impact she made on the field and on other leading scientists. I learned about her work in my undergraduate years. “Beyond modularity” was just out and it made such an impact on our teachers that they put it on the reading list. I am glad they did. “Representational redescription” brought me into Cognitive Science and it still is my go-to example of what embodies Cognitive Science. Without it, you are left only with the paperclip example. I did (and still have) several unanswered questions, which will remain so. Although our offices have only recently been placed next to each other, we first worked together over 7 years ago on a two-day event. We never discussed the science. Annette was very supportive of colleagues in any stage of their career, encouraging scores of junior researchers that a good work-life balance is as important as good work. While through her research she directly and indirectly influenced thousands of scientists (myself included), through her books she continues to reach many more parents and influencing their parental skills. A greater legacy for a developmental scientist I do not know of.

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  108. Such sad, sad news – a real giant of developmental psychology and such a loss to everyone around her and to her field. Always generous to a fault with her time, encouragement, and inspirational ideas. Definitely a one-off. Thinking of her family and her many, many friends at this sad time. Sure she’d approve if we all raise a glass of (good) wine to her over Xmas…

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  109. Annette fostered the growth of so many people’s careers, including mine. It was a privilege to have known and worked with her. Annette’s generosity was evident when, at my first Williams syndrome convention, a couple of months into my PhD, she sat down with me, answered my questions, and showed interest in my research ideas. She didn’t let her profile intimidate, and that evening, she was dancing on the dance floor, and telling us some of her hilarious anecdotes. I went back to my fellow fledgling PhD students both awe-struck and inspired; she was not only a brilliant scientist, but a fun and giving person to be with. This generosity, I saw time and time again, from her input to grants (from my very first, to some of my most recent), to her advice, to her thoughtfulness in providing and sharing opportunities. When I moved to London eight years ago, Annette immediately integrated me into the research community. She told me what email lists to sign up for, signed me up to present my research to the CBCD, invited me to her barn party, and along with Michael Thomas, invited me to DNL lab meetings and socials. What a welcome! We later co-edited a book together. This time holds a special place in my heart. The intensity of meetings and email exchange, and the sheer fun of working with someone with such intellectual curiosity and capacity for creative thought, has been a real highlight of my career. I am just one person, and Annette was as kind and giving to many, many people (including my PhD students later down the line). Annette was an inspirational and incredible woman, whose research has had a huge influence in the field, and whose love of life has touched so many. Annette was intelligent, quick-witted, and fun, and not to forget, she had an incredible sense of style.

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  110. I am so very sad. Not only was Annette ahead of the field –leading it — in new directions through out her career, she was fun, fun, fun, warm, kind and open-minded. What a loss to the field, to her many friends, to her family.

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  111. So sorry to hear this news. I went to see Annette when I was starting my PhD at Birkbeck in the early 1980s and she was a huge influence on me. As well as being a great scientist she was so kindhearted and generous with her time. She will be sadly missed by so many.

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  112. such sad news. I will always remember Annette for going out of her way to give me helpful feedback on a rather awful job interview I had. I was struck by how she took time to be kind and give useful advice even though there was no need for her to do so.

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  113. I’m so sad to hear this news. Annette’s groundbreaking ideas changed my own thinking about development and I am sure they will continue to influence scientists for generations to come.

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  114. I had the great good fortune to spend time with Annette on the APS board. She had wise things to say, and she said them. Plus she was funny and fun. Thank you, Annette.

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  115. What a sad day for developmental psychology. I never met Annette in person but her work influenced my research tremendously. She will be truely missed.

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  116. One of the hardest challenges of living with cancer is to keep going amid the pressures of positivity expected to ‘fight’ cancer, knowing that positivity can help a lot but cannot change the outcome. Annette did this and more showing gratitude and grit until the last moments. Voicing her thoughts independently with much passion. A remarkable woman of all time, she advised and selflessly gave much knowledge and wisdom to students and researchers alike. She will not be forgotten. Her legacy shall continue to shine in the hundreds that she touched, in the academic discipline that she shaped and in her family, all who will remember her proudly. Much love to you Annette. RIP. ❤️❤️❤️

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  117. Really sad to hear. Thinking of the wonderful research and work benefiting the Fragile X community. Our deepest condolences, the UK Fragile X Society team.

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  118. The field of developmental psychology has experienced a great loss. My thoughts and those of the entire Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota go out to Annette’s children, Mark and to all her colleagues at Birkbeck College.

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  119. I remember Annette as an exceptional, inspirational and brave scientist.
    I don’t believe to a life after death but in case it exists I am imagining her now in very beautiful garden chatting with Liz Bates with a glass of good Italian wine.
    My best thoughts to her family and to all her friends.

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  120. Annette was one of the best friends of my life. I can’t say as much as she deserves and as I would like because I am still in tears. I will miss her so much. We talked on the internet all the time, often on a daily basis, so she was
    always with me. She was brilliant and insightful about so many things and I relished her opinions on many issues.
    And when I was in London we always arranged great places to have lunch together and the chance to catch up on
    our families and our latest research. So part of life that matters to me has gone and I will be a lesser person.
    I send my sorrowful condolences to her girls and to Mark.

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  121. I am so very sorry to hear this terrible news. Annette and Mark were wonderful hosts during my year at CBCD in 2006-07. And in subsequent years I always knew that a trip to London would allow us to catch up and learn about her ongoing work. Annette’s daughter lives not far from us in upstate New York, but we didn’t manage to arrange a visit to our department last year, which I now regret very much. And we missed Annette and Mark at the Piaget meeting in Geneva last June, learning about her illness. Annette was a brilliant scholar and a wonderful and caring person. She will be sorely missed. My deep condolences to Mark and everyone whose lives were touched by her tenacity and grace.

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  122. Some of my most beautiful memories are linked with Annette. We met in Buenos Aires, we enjoyed our time in Chile and UK. Annette was a kind and generous woman, and I think, one of the greatest academics of the present. Thanks to Annette, thanks to her extraordinary will, we have modern research in neurodevelopmental disorders in Chile. Thank you, thank you Annette. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. All my love with her daughters, grandchildren and Mark.

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  123. In 1998 I was sitting in the coffee lounge of the University of Sussex’s School for Cognitive and Computing Sciences, where I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree in Psychology. While eating my lunch I was leafing through the British Psychological Association’s newsletter. I came across an advertisement for a PhD studentship on Williams Syndrome in Annette’s new laboratory at the Institute of Child Health in London. Having just taking a course on Developmental Neuropsychology that included Annette’s work in my final year I decided that I should apply – why not aim for the impossible, I thought. Little did I know that this would turn out to be a life changing moment.

    I was selected for the interview, bought my very first suit (I remember the sales person told me “now don’t hang it on your floor”) and went to London to interview with Annette. I was terrified – here I was a 3rd year undergraduate being interviewed by somebody who had trained with Jean Piaget! But Annette was so warm and funny that I soon felt much more relaxed. I must admit that it helped that Annette put her feet up on the coffee table we were sitting around in her office and leaned back in her chair as she asked me a series of rather difficult questions. I remember the days after the interview being an agonizing wait. After having met with Annette and her team (Michael Thomas, Julia Laing, Julia Grant, Sarah Paterson and Sarah Grice) I was desperate to study with them. When Annette rang to give me the great news that I would have the opportunity to study under her supervision I remember doing a little awkward dance in my student flat in Brighton and ringing my parents in breathless excitement.

    What followed were 3 incredibly exciting and intellectually mind-blowing years working with Annette and her team (including Gaia Scerif and Michael Thomas, who remain friends and collaborators to this day). Annette always put her team first. She was incredibly giving and fair, while at the same time demanding in the best of ways, challenging each of us to think harder, to be more creative and to read more broadly. She did not spoon feed us studies, but instead let us develop them, make mistakes and learn from them. Annette would respond to e-mails instantly and return drafts of papers or thesis chapters within less than 24 hours with incredibly detailed, insightful comments, regardless whether she was giving a keynote in Japan or spending the weekend at her and Mark’s Barn. Annette was an incredibly hard worker and, importantly, she was always working for others. I cannot even fathom how many reference letters she wrote, tenure and promotion letters, letters in support of other peoples’ grant applications etc. Not only did she did mentor and support those who worked for her, but also countless others across the globe. She was an incredibly giving and kind person and especially supportive of young scholars. When one would remark on how hard she worked, she would say “Do as I say, not do as I do”.

    In individual supervisory meetings she would not focus unduly on the minutia of experiments but instead wanted to know about how the experiment addressed theory and spoke to issues in typical and atypical development beyond the particular focus of the study (in my case, number processing in Williams syndrome). She made me consider so many ways of thinking beyond the immediate topic of my research and for that I will always be grateful. At the same time, Annette always pointed us to new opportunities. For example, she allowed me to take a year out of my PhD to pursue an MSc in Neuroscience and to visit the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology for 3 months. Annette was deeply invested in the development of her trainees beyond what they immediately gave to her research program. She opened doors, facilitated contacts and encouraged collaborations.

    Annette will always stand out and be remembered for her broad, overarching approach to the study of development and developmental disorders, perhaps most succinctly articulated in her 1998 Trends in Cognitive Sciences Opinion paper entitled “Development itself is the key to understanding developmental disorders”. She did not focus on single domains, but rather on the interactions of domains over the course of developmental time. She was not interested, per se, in ‘face processing’, ‘language’, ‘number’ or ‘attention’ as isolated topics of scientific inquiry, though she studied all of these domains of cognitive development and many more. Her approach, as I understood it, was to employ the study of developmental changes within and across domains as a way of understanding typical and atypical cognitive development more generally. Her 1992 book entitled Beyond Modularity represents, in my view, the most complete post-Piagetian theory of developmental change and is still a must read, I think, for anybody studying cognitive development, almost 25 years following its publication.

    Her methodological toolbox was incredibly diverse and deep, ranging from microgenetic studies with Inhelder (see their wonderful 1975 Cognition paper entitled ‘If you want to get a ahead get a theory’) to large genetic studies and neuroimaging as well as the application of computational modeling to the study of development. As a PhD student it was breathtaking to witness how many radically different projects and collaborations Annette was deeply involved with and, at the same time, to see her effortlessly tie them together into a coherent whole in her writing and her tour-de-force, spellbinding talks across the globe.

    For me, one of Annette’s most memorable, oft-repeated lines was ‘just because you are studying children does not mean you are studying development’. She was a passionate advocate for taking development seriously and therefore for the importance of studying change. I continue to repeat that sentence in my head often to make sure that I am following her advice. Together with Mark Johnson and others she created the field of ‘Neuroconstructivism’, which provides the foundation of so much research in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience today.

    Beyond the science, Annette was a fun loving and extremely witty, humorous person. She would often take the entire team out for lavish, long meals in the Wine Bar on Lamb’s Conduit Street behind the Institute of Child Health and we would eat, drink and laugh. Annette had so much to share beyond her incredible science. She had so many riveting stories about her career prior to entering academia as well as thoughts on the latest book she was reading or the play she went to see last night. Knowing how hard she worked for science, many of us were left wondering how she ever got any sleep!

    One of my many memories of Annette stands out in particular. During the first year of my PhD I decided to take part in the Williams Syndrome Foundation’s 1000-mile charity bike ride from San Sebastian, Spain to Edge village in Gloucestershire. The ride ended at the Village Fete in Edge and, much to my surprise, Annette was there. She had driven up from London (despite being in pain from her arthritis) to welcome us and to celebrate the charity bike ride. This event, to me, perfectly summarizes who Annette was: selfless, kind, giving and incredibly supportive.

    It pains me greatly to know that Annette is no longer with us. Though I only spent 3 short years directly working under her supervision, we were regularly in touch after I left her group. I am especially grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a weekend with her, Mark, Gaia and her family at her Barn in the summer of 2014. I will never forget that wonderful day and evening together, which would unfortunately be the last time I would see Annette. Without Annette I would not be where I am today. Her unwavering support and mentorship has meant the world to me and for which I will always be grateful.

    My thoughts are with Mark, Annette’s daughters and grandchildren, and her many colleagues at Birkbeck, UCL and across the globe. We have lost a truly great and unique scholar, but more importantly a wonderful human being.

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  124. So sorry to hear this news. Though I never had the opportunity to meet Annette in person during my time at cbcd, encountering her work and writings as an undergraduate deeply inspired me to study developmental science. It is moving to read all of the messages from those who knew her personally- truly a beautiful person as well as a brilliant scientist. My most heartfelt thoughts to Mark, her family and colleagues.

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  125. Annette was the most amazing scientist, a fantastic communicator and an inspiring woman. I simply wouldn’t be here doing developmental research without her support and encouragement. I feel so privileged to have known Annette. She will be missed deeply. My thoughts are with her family.

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  126. Annette was a brilliant scientist who I admired greatly. Her own work and input to mine showed incisive thought at the highest level. As well as her great intellectual abilities she has been highly supportive as a colleague, e.g., taking the time to provide comments on grant applications even when she had no direct involvement in the project. We will all miss her and I send my thoughts to her family at this difficult time.

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  127. Annette as a scientist is second to none. No one like her could see and communicate the relevance of development in explaining psychological functioning. She transmitted to us her enthusiasm, her strength, her curiosity always.
    But today all those who know her miss her even more as our friend. It was a privilege to learn from her on every aspect of life.
    We will continue to spread the word, Madrina.
    Estarás aquí para siempre.

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  128. The irreplaceable loss of Annette, leaves me astonished. We cannot afford missing a scientist and a human being like her. She, no doubt, was one of the brightest minds in developmental science and a woman with deep human qualities. A generous, fascinating woman able to listen and to understand even the silences.
    She was and will be, forever, for me a teacher not only in science but in life.
    My thoughts to Mark and her family.

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  129. When we set up the first advisory board at the Leipzig Max Planck the first person we put on it was Annette. Brilliant scientist and person. We will miss her.

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  130. The irreplaceable loss of Annette, leaves me astonished. We cannot afford missing a scientist and a human being like her. She, no doubt, was one of the brightest minds in developmental science and a woman with deep human qualities. A generous, fascinating woman able to listen and to understand even the silences.
    She was and will be, forever, for me a teacher not only in science but in life.
    My thoughts to Mark and her family.

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  131. I was deeply saddened when I first learned of Annette’s illness and now that she has passed away, this feeling has been amplified tenfold. Annette was an inspirational scientist; someone who thought out of the box; someone who was ahead of her time. For the staid developmentalists who thought it was beneath them to study atypical development, Annette brought legitimacy to such inquiry. Her inquisitive mind, her careful thinking, her mastery of the literature were all traits we should aspire to. However, I will also miss her warmth and compassion and the kindness she extended to so many. Finally, my heart goes out to Mark; his loss is unfathomable.
    Charles Nelson

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  132. Annette and her work were known in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, in the 1970s, when we were studying language development. I got to meet her years later, as a PhD student. Simply, an inspiration. Thank you, Annette, for your brilliance, your enthusiasm, your generosity.

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  133. So sad to hear this news today. I will remember Annette for her brilliance and energy as well as her kindness and encouragement to me as a researcher. She will be much missed but her amazing contribution to the field of developmental disorders will continue to inspire.

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  134. Annette Karmiloff-Smith will be remembered as an inspirational and visionary scientist as well as a generous and nurturing mentor to a generation of researchers. Thank you, Annette, for shaping our understanding of human development and for empowering so many others to carry on with your legacy.

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  135. Annette was such a rare and special person. An incredible intellect and theorist, and truly one of the greatest developmental scientists of modern times. Yet she always remained approachable, warm and open, receptive to ideas, and keen to offer insight and constructive criticism. Although I didn’t train directly with Annette, she took such a keen interest in my work at CBCD, and offered much needed guidance through the complexities of collaborating with industry.

    Annette’s energy and fastidious work ethic were always an inspiration. Many an evening I left 32 Torrington Sq. well after dark, and passing Annette’s office, I’d hear her typing or on the phone. Even through the challenges of her physical health, Annette always pushed on, her spirit indefatigable in the face of adversity.

    Above all, Annette was a phenomenal person. Her wit, humour and spirit were so infectious and so joyous. As a first year grad student, I remember being surprised by how warm, funny, and open she was. She viewed us not just as students, but as people. As young minds that she was proud to nurture. I remember fondly sharing fizz with Annette having presented at the British Academy at the end of our programme. Her encouragement was always so warm and so graceful. I’ll always feel privileged to have known Annette and to have learned from her.

    My deepest sympathies are with Annette’s family and loved ones. She was incredible.

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  136. Annette was the great inspiration to my career and one of the most important people in my academic life…
    I am a Brazilian lecturer, and I had the opportunity to study and work with her in 2010 and in 2015… what an amazing person! What a great personality! What a brilliant mind!!! What a loss for all of us who study development… but I truly believe that those who live inside us never die.

    THANK YOU, Annette, for everything you have done for me…
    I will never forget you!

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  137. Annette’s fantastic contributions to our field have always been in the right place and at the right time. No luck there though, just a fantastic eye for where to take us next. And a fantastic eye for an influential article title too! I love the ways Annette has pushed developmentalists to (in her words) “embrace the complexity” which just has to be the reality of what we’re researching. It has been a great privilege for me to work with Annette supervising Hana D’Souza’s PhD in the last few years. We try to take what we learn and share it, hoping to do it justice. My best thoughts to Mark and the family.

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  138. Annette’s championing of opportunities for women in science was inspirational and an important part of the college’s Athena SWAN work. I have just listened again to the podcast of Annette on the “Life Scientific”. Her passion for her work shone through.

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  139. I was sad to hear Annette had fallen ill. I expressed my condolences to her at the time, but she was having none of it. “I am embracing life,” she wrote. Reading all of your wonderful tributes makes me sure she did just that.

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  140. You read, and are inspired by, someone’s work when a young undergraduate, you wonder at who these researchers are and the life that they have led, and then to your surprise you end up working alongside them yourself. Though I was not a student of, or a collaborator with, Annette, she somehow managed to infuse so many moments of my career and life at CBCD. She made you think about your research to a greater depth, she was inspiring as a mother and a woman in science (and sometimes frustratingly intimidating!), and yet she was unfaltering in her support at moments that made a difference. I have never forgotten her words after my very first internal seminar at CBCD, her kindness in taking the time to praise my talk and give feedback was so heartfelt, and supportive for a young scientist. Then, as with the way of things sometimes, the last time I spoke with her this Autumn was following my most recent internal seminar when – despite being midway through treatment – with her usual strength and fortitude she took the time before returning home to speak with me about my research. It is very hard to imagine CBCD without her and my heart goes out to her family this Christmas.

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  141. Terrible news. Her work was and continues to be a true inspiration for me and I was influenced early in my trajectory as she gave a series of lectures at the Université libre de Bruxelles while I was a psychology undergraduate in 1984. Over the years I had numerous occasions to meet her in different places all over the world, from Pittsburgh, where she spent about a year working with Jay McClelland when I was one of his students, to Boulder; from Liège, on the occasion of a her receiving an award from the Belgian Society of Psychological Science, to London… Her “Cognizer’s innards” article with Andy Clark is a little known masterpiece that has influenced my thinking considerably.

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  142. I will always remember Annette with a smile and feel so privileged to have worked with her. Words fail to describe how truly inspirational Annette was and how many lives she touched: from students, families of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, to fellow academics and many more. She has shaped my life in so many ways (both personally and professionally) and I have no doubt she will keep inspiring me and many more people in the future. An amazing scientist and her advice (take development serious and don’t stop asking questions) will stay with me for ever.

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  143. My prevailing memory of Annette is her zest for life. Although she was more than 30 years older than I am, I never felt the age difference. She was my close friend and she was so much younger than most people my own age. For my 40th she took me to see a hip hop musical and we were both dancing on the aisles. I am still smiling remembering that night.  

    I loved talking about anything and everything with Annette. We discussed literature, theatre, movies, relationships, motherhood, work, writing, music, art, food, exercise… you name it. I do not think any topic was left uncovered. And what always struck me was how curious, non-judgmental and interested Annette was. She was not bored and she was not boring. Life was always full of wonder and things to discover.

    Annette’s scientific mind was second to none and if she had not been so generous and kind, she would have been truly intimidating. Instead, she selflessly mentored her students and colleagues, including me. Her true interest was in doing the best possible science, she could not have cared less about who was the ‘big name’ or who was the right person to ‘network’ with. That does not mean that Annette did not interact with impressive scientists or was not part of the network of scientists – she did and she was. But belonging to these circles was a by-product of her brilliance and generosity, not something that she planned for or ‘did politics’ to achieve. She was incredibly creative scientifically and held herself and those working with her to an extremely rigorous standard. And she did this with extraordinary charm and lightness of touch. It always seemed fun. It never seemed an effort. 

    This is not to say that things were always easy or that Annette never got stressed. She was often in pain following her operations and work could at times be extremely pressurised as there were many demands for her time. But Annette never wallowed in the negatives and she always looked forward. She was a wonderful role model as a scientist who was very successful professionally, but who also enjoyed her family life and pursuits beyond science. 

    It is not possible to talk about Annette without mentioning that she always looked fabulous! This challenged the stereotype of a female academic as someone who is dowdy, grey, and mousy. I loved her clothes, her jewellery, her lipstick, her shoes, and in particular, her nails. When Annette was at the hospital undergoing chemo I sneaked in half a nail bar’s worth of product and we did nails together and had a giggle. It was wonderful and I remember thinking afterwards that spending time with Annette on a chemo ward is more fun than hanging out with most people outside hospital. 

    I am devastated by losing my friend and mentor.  My heart really goes out to her closest family for whom this loss is so much bigger still. It is difficult to find the right words. I do not think there are the right words. I am so very sorry that we have lost Annette, I would have so dearly loved to have had more time with her.

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  144. On behalf of everyone at Birkbeck I would like to convey our immense sadness at Annette’s passing. Annette was a Research Professor at Birkbeck for the last 10 years. She was a giant in her field, a lovely human being and someone who stimulated and encouraged those around her, students and staff alike, with her creativity, insight and inventiveness. Annette was also a massive inspiration to other female academics who she devoted much time and effort to mentoring and advising about developing an academic career. The whole department is grieving the loss of a great psychologist. She will be sorely missed. All our thoughts are with Mark and the family.

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  145. As a four year old growing up with a brilliant developmental scientist, I was amazed at the new machine with a “ball” she used to type furiously on for hours in Geneva…. “what is that? ” ” A typewriter” Annette replied… To which I said ” No YOU are the typewriter, that’s a TYPEWRITE!”

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    1. Yara, I met Anette after the typewiter beautiful example. She was very proud of you, and I always “correct” her: AND PROUD OF YOU ANNETTE!!! When my daugther was born, Anette came to visit us in Madrid. She realised that my daugther’s first word was Polish! Because the kangoo of Paula was a wonderful Polish woman. I still give this example to my students. My daughter is 22.
      Ciao Anette, brindaremos siempre juntas. Por supuesto vino español!!

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  146. This is sad news. My thoughts are with her family and friends. This was my first keynote talk I ever attended as PhD-student (in Louvain-La-Neuve, where she received an honorary doctorate in 2002). It was an eye-opener and it completely shaped my thinking about development and its disorders. I was very lucky to meet and discuss with her on many later occasions. She will be missed.

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  147. Una verdadera lástima la pérdida de Annette Karmiloff-Smith. No tuve la oportunidad de trabajar o estudiar con ella, no obstante, conocer su propuesta teórica modificó la forma y concepción que tenía del neurodesarrollo. Gracias a Annnette por todo lo que nos entrego y gracias por el legado, teórico, científico y metodológico que nos deja.
    Mis condolencias a su familia.

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  148. I am terribly sorry. She was one of the best in every way. She was one of the best and most inspirational developmental psychologists ever. She was also one of the kindest people, and gave me crucial help at a crucial time in my professional life, even though I was never formally linked to her or her group.

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  149. This is very sad news.
    Our thoughts are with Anette’s family, friends and colleagues. We share the sorrow and will keep Annette in our memories.
    Annette was a passionate and excellent scientist and a great teacher.
    She was also concerned about the application of science to improve the life of infants and parents. With this mindset she was a consultant for Pampers and other Procter & Gamble brands, helping our researchers to understand infant development better and use this understanding to make better products. Annette was connecting the academic and the commercial world in the best possible way, teaching us the facts about cognitive development and the methods to better understand babies’ needs. We will miss her.

    Dr. Frank Wiesemann
    Procter & Gamble, Pampers Products Research

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  150. I knew her as a great scientist of remarkable breadth of vision and integrity, unafraid of maintaining unpopular views, passionate for genuine insight.

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  151. I feel privileged to have met and worked with this warm hearted, smart and fiercely intelligent woman. An inspiration to fellow women researchers in all areas of her life. Sad to lose her when she still had much to give but grateful for the legacy she leaves.

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  152. I am very sad to hear this news. Annette was lively in every sense of the word – ideas, questions & laughter all seemed to bubble out of her in equal measure. Annette’s ideas influenced my thinking long before I met her. When I read her theory of representational redescription as a PhD student in cognitive psychology, I was struck by her willingness to tackle a difficult problem and by her original and rigorous thinking. Later her collaborative work in the book “Rethinking Innateness” shaped my own thinking about development and cognition. In those years when I knew her writing well but had not met her, I imagined Annette as a serious person, perhaps even fierce and intimidating. Imagine my surprise when I met this tiny ball of energy and smiles, whose approach to thinking was deeply interactive and conversational. What a wonderful person. I feel grateful to have known her.

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  153. Very sad news, Annette leaves a huge intellectual and personal trace behind her, she will not be forgotten. My heartfelt thoughts to Mark and Annette’s children, Philippe Rochat

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  154. I’ll never forget how starstruck I was the first time I met Annette, this amazing scientist who I had learned about during my undergraduate degree. I soon realised that in addition to this brilliant scientific mind, she was unbelievably supportive, engaging and fun. She would reply to emails from her hospital bed, ask me to buy her a small bottle of wine for the train home from a conference, and tell outrageous stories to keep us entertained at drinks and dinners. She always pushed us all to be the best we could be and to challenge what was expected of us. I hope that I, and all her many PhD students from over the years, can continue her legacy by supporting our own students in the way in which she taught us. I will be raising a glass for her this Christmas, as I know she would want me to (and Annette, I promise it will be a decent red)! Sending my thoughts to all of her family and colleagues for whom this loss will be so great. Hayley

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  155. Like many, I first came across Annette’s work as an undergraduate, and it inspired me to study development. More recently I’ve been lucky enough to call her a colleague. Although we only met a few times she was always unfailingly supportive of me as a junior scientist. She was unique – kind, funny, and as fiercely intelligent in person as she was in her writing. A true science hero! Such very sad news. Thinking of her family at this time.

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  156. Not only was Annette an inspiration both professionally and personally, she was a magnificently fascinating person. I will never forget her 70th birthday. Only women were invited and we all had to wear a badge stating the decade we had met her. And the women i met there that day! It was such fun and just perfectly Annette. My love and thoughts are with her family.

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  157. Annette was a true steward of the field who excelled at integrating diverse bodies of work in ways that consistently sparked new energy into decades of academic research. I know I am not alone in saying Annette played a formative role in my intellectual development. She was extremely generous in providing constructive feedback, wise counsel, and warm support at many points across my career trajectory. I will miss her greatly and have her family close in my heart at this time.

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  158. Annette embodied that rare combination of a sharp and creative mind with a warm and sparkling generosity. I first met her 40 years ago at a conference in Banff, and continued to interact with her on and off over the years, the most sustained period being when she was on sabbatical at Carnegie Mellon in the eighties, and the most recent being when she honored me by returning to CMU to give a paper at my Festschrift several years ago. Our field has lost a great intellect and a decent human being. She will not be forgotten.

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  159. Even though I did not work with Annette directly while doing my PhD at the CBCD, she probably has had the most profound influence of anyone on my thinking about development, something that I use almost every time I teach my students (I hope I do her justice…). One memory that comes to mind when I think about her was actually at the Cognitive Anthropology talks she used to attend at the LSE Seligman library (both as speaker and guest), and especially the dinners that took place afterwards with the speakers. There I got a glimpse of this very smart, powerful, funny, courageous, but above all generous and kind woman. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones, she will be sorely missed…

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  160. My thoughts are with Annette’s family, along with her many friends and colleagues. Her scientific work has been an inspiration to myself as it has been to many others, and she leaves behind a lasting legacy.

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  161. How horrible to lose Annette. She was a wonderful person, and an outstanding scientist. The world is now a poorer place than it was.

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  162. It is very sad news, but I will always smile when I think of Annette. Great insight, inspirational, such a wit, I will miss a glass of wine and a chat. What a varied life she had.

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  163. Annette was a brilliant academic who was a very kind and supportive colleague. She was a role model for everyone but especially for woman. I will miss her humour, intellect, optimism and advice.

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  164. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been Annette’s colleague, however briefly. Her kindness, humour, and fierce intelligence were immediately apparent, and I wish I could have gotten to know her better. The department won’t be the same without her.

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