Former professor committed suicide before brain disease took hold


A former King’s professor has committed suicide following a battle with a brain disease, an inquest has heard.

Philip Adey was Emeritus Professor of Cognition, Science, and Education at King’s College London from 1984-2004.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Plus in 2010, a condition similar to Parkinson’s, with more debilitating effects.

He began his impressive academic career in 1963 at the Lodge school in Barbados. His work also took him to Indonesia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Hungary and Poland.

At King’s, he developed a programme aiming to improve school students’ intellectual ability, which led to a series of publications related to cognitive acceleration and the improvement of development programmes for teachers.

Your Local Guardian reported that the illustrious professor had been described as an “intellectual giant“.

In an obituary published in the Guardian, his son Gideon wrote: “Philip was tireless and intellectually rigorous, and engaged all on equal terms. His warmth and wit could light up a room. He was an excellent speaker and thousands of teachers have been inspired during his professional development sessions.

“His commitment to high-quality science education for all was evident throughout his career. He delighted in challenging many of the orthodoxies held dear by politicians and policymakers, and debunking myths in education.”

During his career, the distinguished professor published over 45 academic papers, 6 academic books, over 20 chapters in academic books and over 25 papers and books for teachers and students. He was recently the education commissioner for Westminster city council.

Professor Adey is survived by his second wife, Jadwiga, his two sons, Lewis and Gideon and his four grandchildren.

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