He was 92, so quite a bit older than me and presumably than nearly everyone else reading this. I didn’t know him well, though I did meet him briefly once or twice. But it was his method of teaching the subject, enshrined in his book A practical introduction to phonetics, that was a great inspiration.
He rightly emphasized how important it is for students of phonetics to learn how to actually recognize and produce a wide range of speech sounds. So-called phoneticians who can’t, won’t or daren’t actually attempt to make the sounds of all sorts of foreign languages are missing out on an important element of the subject. Sitting in a lab measuring formants, or cogitating about phonological systems and rules, is all very well: but it’s not enough.
When asked to give advice to linguistics students, Ian said, “Don't neglect to acquire the phonetic skills – including, or in particular, articulatory phonetics. Students should learn to perceive and produce everything.”Hear, hear!
Requiescat in pace.