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Doll, Death, Dioxin

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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