Roger Silverstone died 16 July 2006. He was a major figure in the study of media and communication. He will be most often remembered for his work on television and everyday life, but he also made outstanding contributions to the study of new information and communication technologies. For example, he took the major leadership role in establishing at Brunel University one of the first centres within the Programme on Information and Communication Technologies (PICT). He had the ability to develop successful academic programmes not only at Brunel, but also at Sussex and most recently at the LSE. His contributions to the study of new ICTs were many, including his conceptualization of how households ‘domesticate’ media, which he and his colleagues, such as Leslie Haddon, have usefully applied to a variety of new media. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Roger, particularly during the last years of PICT, when he helped shape the synthesis of this research programme. Obituaries in the Independent and the Guardian convey the deep respect he earned among his colleagues. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,1825438,00.html
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Roger Silverstone kindly agreed to examine my thesis – Innovation in TV-centric network technologies: as Viewers become User-Consumers. His past work in ethnographies of the home and the domestic space founded a whole new ordination to our understanding in how ordinary people accommodate ICTs into the fabric of their lives and lifestyles. They were the very foundations of my own theories and that of several others of my peers.
Prof Silverstone was very rigorous as an examiner and read through the 500 page these not just once but three times! He pushed for excellence in his own work and that of others. He projected what he applied to his own work. This was an unselfish and generous approach in a time when many academics just get by.
Unlike a large percentage of ideas and approaches which have already came to pass in the unfolding of story of ICTs and their propensities to create and support familiar and new human endeavors, Roger Silverstone’s contributions will persist.