Christopher Evans (computer scientist)

Christopher Riche Evans (29 May 1931 – 10 October 1979) was a British psychologist, computer scientist, and author.

Christopher Riche Evans
Born29 May 1931
Died (aged 48)
NationalityBritish
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materUniversity College London, University of Reading
Known forPioneers of Computing recordings (1970s); The Mighty Micro (1979 book and TV series)
Children2
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science, psychology
InstitutionsRoyal Air Force, Duke University, University of Reading, National Physical Laboratory

Biography

Born in Aberdyfi, Christopher Evans spent his childhood in Wales and was educated at Christ College, Brecon (1941–49). He spent two years in the RAF (1950–52), and worked as a science journalist and writer until 1957, when he began a B.A. course in Psychology at University College, London, graduating with honours in 1960. After a summer fellowship at Duke University in the United States, where he first met his American wife, Nancy Fullmer, he took up a Research Assistant post in the Physics Laboratory, University of Reading, working on eye movements under Professor R. W. Ditchburn. Upon receiving his PhD (the title of his thesis was “Pattern Perception and the Stabilised Retinal Image”), he went to the Division of Computer Science, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, in 1964, where he remained until his death from cancer in 1979. He had two children, Christopher Samuel Evans and Victoria Evans-Theiler.

Works

In 1979, Christopher Evans wrote a book about the oncoming microcomputer revolution, The Mighty Micro: The Impact of the Computer Revolution, which included predictions for the future up to the year 2000.[1] This book was also printed in the USA as The Micro Millennium (New York: The Viking Press, ISBN 0-670-47400-2). He subsequently scripted and presented for ATV a six-part television series based on this book and broadcast posthumously by ITV between October and December 1979.[2]

His other books include Cults of Unreason, a study of Scientology and other perceived pseudoscience, and Landscapes of the Night: How and Why We Dream.[3]

In the 1970s, Evans undertook a set of interviews with computer pioneers such as Konrad Zuse and Grace Hopper. These were released through the Science Museum, London, as Pioneers of Computing, a set of cassette tapes.

Christopher Evans also edited two anthologies of psychological science fiction/horror stories, Mind at Bay and Mind in Chains, a collection of science writings, Cybernetics: Key Papers, a reference book Psychology: A Dictionary of Mind, Brain and Behaviour, and was a contributing editor to the science magazine Omni. A keen pilot, he also edited a yearly pilot's diary of rural airfields in Great Britain.

During the 1970s, Evans was the scientific advisor to the ITV TV series, The Tomorrow People.[4]

Christopher Evans died of cancer in 1979, at the age of 48, shortly after The Mighty Micro had been published in hardcover.[5]

Selected works

Cults of Unreason
  • Evans, Christopher (1973). Cults of Unreason (hardcover ed.). London: Harrap. ISBN 978-0-245-51870-6.
  • Evans, Christopher (1974). Cults of Unreason (paperback ed.). St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK: Panther Books. ISBN 978-0-586-03905-2.
  • Evans, Christopher (1974). Cults of Unreason (hardcover ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-13324-5.
  • Evans, Christopher (1975). Cults of Unreason (paperback ed.). New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-440-54402-9.
The Mighty Micro
  • Evans, Christopher (1979). The Mighty Micro (hardcover ed.). London: Victor Gollancz Ltd. ISBN 978-0-575-02708-4.
  • Evans, Christopher (1980). The Mighty Micro (paperback ed.). London: Coronet. ISBN 978-0-340-25975-7.

References

  1. Mars Hill Review.
  2. IEEE Book Review.
  3. Coleman, Daniel (10 July 1984). "Do dreams really contain important secret meaning?". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  4. Screen Online
  5. Evans 1980, foreword by Robin Webster


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