Professor Andrew ('Andy') Spielman, Harvard School of Public Health passed away on 20 December 2006. Together with Dr Jackie Cattani and Professor Michael Reich, Andy was my mentor during my year at Harvard in 1987-8. Very quickly I came to like and respect his intellectual curiosity, his strong principles and his warmth and humour.
His perspective on disease control was that of a biologist , a system thinker, concerned with balancing the need to help people and the need to avoid unnecessary damage to biological systems. It was possible, sometimes even necessary, to disagree with him, but his biological perspective remains essential. As much as we can be grateful for the fact that he was able to remain highly active up to 2006, when he was 76, his death is a terrible loss to the world of vector control scientists.