I started this blog when I started my postdoc at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research back in 2007. The institute’s scientific director was Werner Callebaut and it was he who on a day-to-day basis was in charge of the intellectual atmosphere at the Lorenz villa where the institute was housed. I remember many lunches where the conversation would move between a wide range of topics connected or unconnected to the institute’s scientific mission. Although I only spent a few months there in the end, I still consider it the most intellectually worthwhile period in my life. I learned much of what is now fundamental to my own research and can not imagine working in cognitive science of religion without the broad-ranging preparation that the KLI gave me. Most of that is thanks to Werner, who could be a prickly personality but whose advice has never steered me wrong. He had an uncompromising approach to much of life but, at the same time, I found that he felt a loyalty and warmth that drove him to desire that those at the KLI should be the very best they could be.
I was, therefore, staggered to find out at the end of last year that he had died suddenly. I can not imagine the KLI without him. The photo I have attached shows him as I remember him – smoking and in the middle of conversation.