I want to pass along the news that Phillip Tobias, one of the world’s leading paleoanthropologists and anatomists, died earlier this week. The Gauteng Tourism Authority has run a very nice short summary of his work and importance, and I especially like the way it ends:
Although Phillip Tobias never had a family, he said "I have taught over 10 000 students, and all of those are, in some small way, like my children. So it is not a genetic legacy that I leave, but rather a cultural one, orally transmitted through education, the value of which cannot be overemphasized. I like to believe that I have given something valuable to every one of them, and I can tell you quite honestly that almost every one of them has given something very valuable to me, and I remember them as my own family."
My e-mail inbox is filled with short remembrances from many of Tobias’ long-time colleagues. and I am sure that he will be well memorialized.