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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May 2005, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Bursary memorial for Ivan Noble
Ivan Noble
Ivan had worked for the BBC News website sci-tech team since 2001
A bursary for journalists to work on the BBC News website is to honour Ivan Noble, the science and technology reporter who died of a brain tumour.

Ivan kept a diary of his battle with cancer which appeared in instalments on the news website. The entries will be published as a book on Monday.

The annual bursary is for a recently qualified journalist to work on the science and technology desk.

Ivan died in January at the age of 37 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Book cover
The BBC's proceeds from the book will go to charity

Pete Clifton, editor of BBC News Interactive, said the bursary was an ongoing commitment to help reporters to learn the skills of web journalism.

He said: "When Ivan died many readers asked what we would do as a lasting tribute to him.

"We think the bursary is a fitting thing to do - we want to encourage a new journalist with the same passion for science and technology that Ivan had."

The bursary, to be advertised soon, will give a six-month placement to a journalist fresh from college or with less than two years' experience outside the BBC.

They will research and write news reports and features for the science and technology desk.

Ivan's wife Almut welcomed the announcement.

"Ivan's illness was only a very short period of his life and the bursary is there to remember his life before he was ill.

"He was a science and technology writer and this is what the bursary marks.

"I'm very pleased and honoured that the BBC has chosen to remember his professional life before he was ill."


Ivan's tumour diary was a regular feature on the site from September 2002 to the last entry, on 31 January 2005, the day he died.

It followed his battle through remissions and relapses and provoked thousands of e-mails of support and tribute.

The book of his diary entries, entitled Like a Hole in the Head and published by Hodder & Stoughton, features some of these tributes.

The book's title comes from a comment Ivan made after being told he needed more brain surgery. His response: "I need another craniotomy like I need a hole in the head."

The book also features interviews with people who have lost relatives to brain tumours, as well as doctors trained in breaking the bad news of terminal illness.

The BBC's proceeds from the book will go to Medecins Sans Frontieres UK, the charity chosen by Ivan.

Your comments

The best thing about a bursary for a young journalist is that it looks towards the future rather than dwelling on the past, which is something Ivan never stopped doing, despite his circumstances.
Andy, London, England

Ivan's web diary was an unusual yet insightful look from someone fighting for his life. I read his journal since it first came out, and with this book, many will be touched by his battles versus cancer and his eventual freedom from suffering. This book is a fitting tribute to Ivan.
David Cruz, Philippines

My first wife, a brave and beautiful lady died of a painful and intractable colorectal cancer in late 2003, while we lived in Utah USA. There was no rhyme or reason to her having contracted this dreadful disease. Ivan's articles have helped me undertsand a little of what my wife went through. God bless a gentleman and a scholar.
Andrew Borman, Bristol, England

I believe a bursary programme such as this is a fitting tribute to any professional in any field. I only read the final posthumous entry in Ivan's journal after he passed away, but I fully intend to purchase the book at my first opportunity. I currently hold a degree in multimedia technology and intend to undertake a 2 year HND in journalism commencing in 2006 with a view to working in much the same capacity as Ivan did. I think he stands as a role model to anyone in my position.
Kevin Gilmartin, Coatbridge, Scotland

I think it's a great idea, Ivan would approve I'm sure. Also the book - I'll certainly be ordering it. Best wishes to Almut and his family.
Tracy Pace, Houston, US

Ivan's distinct courage and humor were touching and remarkable. His legacy will long outlast his life.
Adil Eduljee, New Orleans, US

How wonderful to remember Ivan in this way. I'm sure his memory will live on for many years with this. I was an avid reader of his inspirational diaries and dreaded the day we knew would eventually come. His children can be proud of this legacy. I will keep this book as a reference to look at when I feel depressed or fed up over trivial matters. A read of his diaries will bring anyone with petty problems down to earth with a big bang and put a real perspective on life. Thanks for the memory, Ivan and thank you BBC for allowing us to read his original diaries then and now.
K J Smith, Milton Keynes, UK

What a wonderful way to honour a brave man who wished to tell the world how he and his family were dealing with his illness whilst still retaining his dignity.
Sim Haskell-Dowland, Plymouth UK

I think a bursary is a very fitting tribute to a very intelligent and brave person. I read all the diaries from the beginning and felt very sad when he lost his battle against his tumor.
Maureen Cooper, Guiseley, West Yorkshire

This is the moment I was waiting for since it was announced that Ivan's diary is going to be published as a book. I hope it sells well for two reasons: 1.Ivan's courage and approach to life inspite of his terminal illness will be a morale booster to a lot of people with similiar conditions. 2.The proceeds will be of great help to the charity.
K Jeevan, Kuwait city,Kuwait

Yes, a very good way to honour Ivan without overly precious sentimentality. It looks ahead, investing in the future. In this way, Ivan can pass his baton to future generations of science journalists.
Neil, Basingstoke

I hhink this is a great idea, Ivan was a brave man who touched many through his columns with his humour and views.
Chris Webb, London

I read Ivan's diary regularly and enjoyed it immensely. Seeing the courage of people like him reminded me how lucky I am and I was thankful for that grounding I felt. It helped me put lots of seemingly big issues in my own life back into their small and appropriately insignificant boxes. His wife is right to say that there is a lot about Ivan that the general public don't know and I think the bursary is a great way to honour all of the wonderful achievements from this brave and sharing man.
Paula Day, Singapore

A fitting memorial for such a brave and interesting fellow.
Deb, Augusta, USA

I think the bursary is a wonderful idea. Ivan's memory will live on. I read Ivan's diary and during this time was diagnoised with breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiology I returned to work last September and started reading where I'd left off. Had a few weeks off earlier this year and have only found out today of Ivan's death - Oh how I did want him to live and see his family grow. I feel as if I have lost a friend - God bless him.
Myrtle, Tyne & Wear

This bursary is an excellent way to remember Ivan. At a time when there is an uncertain future for science & technology in the UK, encouraging the reporting of these fields is a valuable step. Well done BBC, may Ivan's legacy live long.
Ian Deaville, Solihull UK

An excellent, fitting, and worthwhile idea. To have a bursary as a tribute to someone who inspired others, in spite of such such overwhelming circumstances, would be entirely appropriate. It will be an honour for anyone benefiting from it and I would think that Ivan would be thrilled by the idea of having young journalists encouraged in his particular line of journalism. I read his diary regularly.
Lynda Williams, New Hampshire, USA

I think the idea is just brilliant, it truly reflects Ivan's idea of helping others through his experiences. And as Almut says, it's great the BBC decided to honour his professional life before he was ill. This reminds me of Ivan's last column where he said he had not been defeated by cancer. All his readers know how true this is. Thanks Ivan for teaching us so many things, thanks to the BBC for celebrating Ivan's life.
Julieta, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A touching reminder that Ivan was a successful and competent journalist, not just an ill diarist
Jackie Hogarty, Hampshire
I used to read Ivan's diary regularly - it was such an interesting and moving story, and yet full of humour. The bursary is a touching and practical reminder that Ivan was a successful and competent journalist, not just an ill diarist.
Jackie Hogarty, Eversley, Hampshire

It's a wonderful idea, one which Ivan, I think, would have supported. Ivan's diaries have helped so many people and it is fitting that even now that he is not with us his presence is still felt in such a valuable way.
Yvonne Short, USA

I looked forward to each and every one of Ivan's diaries. I knew that if I saw and read his diary that he was still all right. I felt as if I knew him personally and I was really saddened when he passed away. I was willing him to get better, to beat it, as probably many, many other people were too. I feel privileged to have known Ivan. Such a brave man.
Lisa Kartanou, Plymouth, UK

I read Ivan's diary through the last few months of his life and was amazed by the courage and humour he showed even in his last entries. I think the bursary is an excellent memorial- it allows someone to pursue their dreams of journalism and contribute in a way the Ivan also did, thereby keeping his memory alive.
Joanna, Calgary, Canada

A great idea commemorating a truly brave and heroic journalist. A greater tribute would be for all of us to adopt healthier lifestyles, and for all smokers to quit the habit as soon as possible
Chris, UK

I think this is a great tribute for all of his family. I read Ivan's diary and was given strength and hope through my mothers own illness. She too has been paid tribute with memorial gardens on the Isle of Wight. The tributes are a mark of respect and establish fond memories of those sadly missed. Well done.
Mike K, Wales

Definitely, I read his diaries often and feel that this is a great way to remember and honour his role within the BBC and to all the people who followed his diaries round the world
Gerard, Dublin, Ireland

I hope it is enough to allow the journalist to buy all the gadgets just like Ivan
Paul Benwell, Cheshire, UK
As a man devoted (perhaps even obsessed) with the latest gadget and technology, I am quite sure Ivan would have approved. However I hope it is enough to allow the journalist to buy all the gadgets just like Ivan seemed to.
Paul Benwell, Cheshire, UK

This is a very dignified way to honour an amazingly brave human being. Ivan's courage and touched millions of people all over the world. Thank you, BBC, for making the effort to keep the memory a remarkable man alive.
Nausherwan Lahori, Lahore, Pakistan

Ivan's wife speaks about the bursary

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