Testimonials in memory of Puay Tang

By 7 December 2018 December 16th, 2018

Our dear colleague and founder member of EvalHum and ENRESSH, Dr Puay Tang, passed away recently. We are seeking testimonials from all those who knew her as friend, colleague and researcher of dedication and talent.

Dr Puay Tang


Burgess Langshaw-Power and Alexander Caro, on behalf of the Science Policy Research Unit class of 2016

Puay, many knew you for your impactful work in academic and publishing circles. However, we knew you best as an enthusiastic and compassionate individual and as an adept professor. Your purple-tinged hair belied the passion and seriousness with which you took your work. You cared deeply about the success of your students and held us to the highest standards. In return, you gave us your best everyday. Whether academic, professional, or personal, it was you to whom we turned to for support. You served as a mentor to many, providing an ear and wisdom when your students were faced with any challenge.

We have lost a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. Thank you, Puay, for all that you have done. We will never forget you.

Leonie Van Drooge

I am so sorry to hear about Puay. Fierce and powerful Puay, who showed that physique has nothing to do with force and power. Smart and sharp Puay, who sometimes kept quiet and at the background, and then stepped forward and contributed knowledge, insight, experience. Or wit. Of course, I enjoyed talking with her about clothes, shoes, bags, shops. And food.

I have some memories of Puay that make me smile, even now. I know her ever since the SIAMPI project. She managed to get a letter from the director of the social science center that was her case study for SIAMPI. A very nice interaction, that letter! She read the letter out loud at the final meeting in Brussels. That was one of the few times I saw her actually perform. She wanted, and managed, to bring every word of the letter to the audience.

Kate Baker
I have known Puay over many years from the PRIME network of excellence back in FP6 to working closely with her on the FP7 SIAMPI project where we struggled together with assessing the social impact of research. She brought intellectual sharpness to all our debates together with her unique freshness, energy and humour. She was exceptionally good company and always collegial and supportive in sharing experiences of academic and university life. To say she will be missed is a great understatement.

Ioana Galleron
Puay, you were there at the British academy when I first started to get publicly involved in the defense of the SSH. I was nervous because it was my first speech in English, and in such a prestigious place. You found the words to reassure me. So was your presence all along our too short collaboration: energetic, optimistic, pushing us all to go further and do better. Thank you and farewell!

Ad Prins

I met Puay during the SIAMPI project in which I worked with Jack and Jordi. Smart, funny, cheerful and cordial, she once in a while popped up, usually at the end of our sessions, making fun of her habit of “shopping”, meanwhile also discussing serious matters about our joined topic. It is a great loss, especially for Jordi.

Jack Spaapen

It will not be hard to write up stories about the academic achievements of Puay, her teaching and research qualities, or about her unconventional fashion statements that nevertheless fitted her so well, or about her sharpness, her openness, her kindness, but I will remember Puay because she had the unique ability to light up any room, even a room filed with more or less serious academics. That light I will carry with me.

I don’t remember how I met Puay. She was just there from the beginning of the EvalHum adventure in promoting the Social Sciences and Humanities, an instant friend. A small group attended the meeting I and Ioana Galleron organised at the British Academy in December 2012. We all went off to a pub after and started planning projects and meetings. From then on, we saw a lot of Puay and Jordi as we exchanged emails and ran events whilst trying to get the essential networking funding. We tried the ESF, we tried H2020, we tried COST. We had many refusals, but with Puay’s enthusiasm we kept on trying, and finally won with ENRESSH. It was a privilege to know her for her knowledge and capacities as a researcher, but above all as a genuinely nice person who was just fun to be with. The news of her passing away came out of the blue. I am utterly devastated and, like so many, will miss her greatly. Rest in Peace Puay, your memory will live on!