Professor Robert VH Dover
Professor Robert VH Dover of the Instituto de Estudios Regionales (INER) at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia passed away in December 2018, leaving a hole in both the consortium’s leadership and the hearts of its members. Robert was part of the editorial board of Regions and Cohesion and the coordinator of RISC’s working group on “Civil Society, Vulnerable Populations, and State Policies of Health and Well-being.” This working group promotes collaborative/comparative research on the role and incidence of civil society in regional and state policies of health and well-being. Along with his long-time collaborator Dr. Claudia Puerta Silva (also of INER), Robert was a driving force behind the activities of this working group, including panels in RISC’s international conferences, workshops and publications. Most prominently, Robert promoted the “Healthy Cities” initiative within RISC that aimed to foster healthy living in the urban Global South.
Above all, Robert embodied the values and vision that the RISC Consortium strives to attain as an academic community. He was a true intellectual committed to scientific inquiry and one of the most eloquent speakers that we have had the pleasure of knowing. Robert spoke softly but his words carried significant force. Robert was a dedicated academic but he never lost sight of the importance of defending human dignity. He combined academic professionalism with a commitment to social solidarity. Robert’s enthusiasm was contagious. Although he studied injustices committed in the Global South, he always maintained optimism and hope in his outlook for the world which significantly enriched our collaborative dialogues. In November 2019, RISC will hold its international conference in Johannesburg, South Africa and it seems impossible to imagine this meeting without Robert’s smiling face which transmitted solidarity and hope to all those present.