Sir Richard Doll: Death, Dioxin and PVC
As a doctor and a man of science, naturally you see this affair of the polluted water-supply as
a perfectly clear-cut isolated issue. I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that a great many
other things are involved. Henrik Ibsen: An Enemy of the People.
Sir Richard Doll is considered to be one of the world’s greatest public health epidemiologists. In
Britain, his stature in the contemporary world rises far above those historical characters who, it is
said, shaped the scientific approach to public health in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
An English gentleman, who exposed the link between cigarettes and cancer, with a long association
with Oxford University, Sir Richard’s ethics are accepted as beyond criticism andconsequently the
results of his research frequently epitomise the inevitable ‘rightness’ of science as a tool for testing
public health risk.
Accolades and awards fall to Sir Richard, at the age of 86, seemingly as naturally and inevitably as
fruit falls from trees. In July 2002, he and his longtime colleague, Sir Richard Peto, were awarded
the King Olav V’s prize of 1 million NOK, for outstanding cancer research. In September 2002
Sir Richard was given the honorary freedom of the City of Oxford.
Doll, Death, Dioxin
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