IOSH nominee makes BBC list
16 July 2012
A pioneer of occupational health has been
chosen by the BBC as a ‘New Elizabethan’ after a nomination by
The Institution put forward Sir Richard Doll’s name on behalf of
health and safety organisations as part of a search for the 60 most
influential men and women during the reign of Elizabeth II.
Radio 4 made a call for nominations as part of Jubilee
celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Richard Doll CH OBE FRS (28 October 1912 – 24 July 2005) was a
British physiologist who became the leading epidemiologist of the
20th century, turning the subject into a rigorous science.
He was a pioneer in research linking smoking to health problems.
Along with others, he was credited with being the first to prove
that smoking caused lung cancer and increased the risk of heart
disease. He also did pioneering work on the relationship between
radiation and leukaemia as well as that between asbestos and lung
cancer, and alcohol and breast cancer.
He established evidence-based medicine as the pre-eminent tool
in public health care. He focused on risk and how to evaluate
it. His work on smoking is frequently described as saving
countless millions of lives or preventing premature deaths.
His biographer (Conrad Keating) described his achievements
saying “he saved lives but didn’t touch anyone. He took medicine
out of the lab and put it in society”.
IOSH Chief Executive Rob Strange OBE said:
“IOSH nominated Sir Richard Doll as a ‘New Elizabethan’ on behalf
of the health and safety community and we are delighted that he has
“Evidence-based occupational health has made an immense
contribution to modern life over the last 60 years and Sir Richard
was undoubtedly one if its pioneers.
“His research linking smoking to health problems has saved
countless lives. He also carried out revolutionary work on the
relationships between radiation and leukaemia, and asbestos and
“His choice by historians as one of 60 ‘New Elizabethans’ is
heartening because it is recognition of the role evidence-based
occupational health has played in making this country a healthier,
more civilised place in which to live.”