The UK Data Archive mourns the loss of Dr Alasdair Crockett

Article dated: 18 September 2006

Alasdair Crockett

The UK Data Archive mourns the loss of Dr Alasdair Crockett who died recently. Dr Crockett was Data Standards Manager at the UK Data Archive and Chief Research Officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research. His interests and contributions to social science were wide and varied. He was an expert in the long-term preservation and management of social research data, and authored nationally and internationally respected guides to good practice on the subject. As a researcher, he conducted research in fields ranging from history to geography, sociology and social statistics. Most recently he had been working on a sophisticated empirical analysis of the dynamics of religious change in seven advanced industrial nations with different levels of popular religiosity: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

Alasdair had been on long-term sick leave for several months suffering from late stage Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is an illness caused by a spirochete bacterium which is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks. Because of its diverse symptoms, it mimics many other diseases and can be difficult to diagnose. If untreated, early symptoms may disappear and problems can develop months to years later that can be severe and chronic, and difficult to cure.

Alasdair was a kind and gentle man, with a delightfully dry sense of humour. Well-liked by his colleagues nationally and internationally, he was quiet and modest, preferring to tackle the critical behind-the-scenes work than seek the limelight. He will be very greatly missed, and the fields of social research and digital preservation will be much impoverished by his passing.

Alasdair was 38 years old; he leaves a wife, and two young children. His widow has requested that those who wish to memorialise Alasdair make donations in his name to Lyme Disease Action UK.