In Honour of Prof. Ken Wilkinson

The scientific community of rural sociologists in Europe bow their heads in honour of our dear colleague, Prof. Ken Wilkinson.

None of us is yet able to anticipate what his sudden passing means for our science to have lost. One thing, however, is sure: we lost a good, reliable friend -- and we want to state explicitly that this is the predominant reason for us to mourn.

All those who happened to meet Ken Wilkinson on the occasion of national or international scholarly events, or those who found themselves involved in the organisation of such events, remember his kind, quiet, tolerant and rational manner of cooperation. He really was somebody in whom to trust.

It was a little more than a year ago that Ken Wilkinson declared himself ready to accept nomination as president of the International Rural Sociological Association -- and he did not miss a single vote to his favour. We were glad and confident to put this important business into his hands and we expected him to be successful beyond doubt.

These expectations have only partly come true, because Ken Wilkinson had to submit to another master of his life. His readiness to assist and his capacity to fulfill the duties of a deeply engaged social scientist mean an unending obligation for us to follow his steps. Ken Wilkinson has done so much for the scientific community all over this world -- the scientific community owes him unmeasurable gratitude.

Andreas Bodenstedt
President of the European Society for Rural Sociology
Vicepresident of the International Rural Sociological Association