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					                      Stampar Medal Award Ceremony
 Laudatio on Professor Sir Richard Doll, Oxford, United Kingdom by Professor
  Richard Madeley, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nottingham,
                               United Kingdom

              XXI Aspher Annual Conference, Madrid October 16-19, 1999

Dear Sir Richard Doll,
Dear colleagues,

It is a great privilege to be able to present the Andrija Stampar medal for distinguished
service to the cause of public health in Europe to Professor Sir Richard Doll. Since 1983 he
has been a consultant with the Im perial Cancer Research Fund unit based at the Radcliffe
Infirmary in Oxford.

If we look back on the century now coming to an end we can see that certain medical
advances stand out as being of particular importance. Obvious examples would be the
discoveries concerning penicillin, insulin, blood groups and the structure of the DNA
molecule. I would argue that the discovery of the link between smoking and lung cancer, and
subsequently with other major diseases, was of this order of importance.

The link is accepted nowadays. But that was certainly not the case when Sir Richard and his
colleague Sir Austin Bradford Hill published their famous paper in 1950. This work was
widely and intemperately criticised, from within and outside the scientific community.
However, they stood their ground and, and like good epidemiologists, moved on to the
setting up of a cohort study. This was the famous longitudinal study of British doctors, which
provided conclusive proof of the bad effects of cigarettes on health. Since then the story is
better known, with increasingly effective action against this scourge in many countries of the
world.

Sir Richard qualified in medicine at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School in London in 1937.
Like many young men of his generation he spent the years 1939-45 in the Royal Army
Medical Corps, serving in France, North Africa and the Mediterranean. In 1946 he was
awarded his doctorate in medicine (MD). He was awarded the Order of the British Empire
(OBE) in 1956, the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 1957, and a higher
doctorate (DSc) by the University of London in 1958. He was elected to membership of the
Royal Society of London in 1966.

After leaving the army, Sir Richard had a number of appointments with the Medical Research
Council (MRC) Statistical Research Unit of which he was director from 1961-69. In 1969 he
moved to become Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, in which post he
stayed until 1979, when he retired, if that could be regarded as an accurate word!

In addition to these core activities Sir Richard was a much valued member of important
committees in the United Kingdom. He served on the Royal Commission on Environmental
Pollution, the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Standing Committee on Energy and
the Environment. He received medals from the British Medical Association and the Royal
College of Physicians as well as the extremely prestigious Royal Medal of the Royal Society
of London. On the international scene Sir Richard was a member of the scientific council of
IARC (International Agency for Research into Cancer). He has received a large number of
medals which give a vivid indication of the high esteem in which he is held. These include the
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Presidential Award of the New York Academy o Sciences, the Gairdner Award of the
University of Toronto, the Conrad Röntgen Prize of the Accademia dei Lincei, and the
Johann Georg Zimmermann Prize of the University of Hannover. He was the first holder of



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the Helmut Horten Award in Lugano in 1991 and the first holder of the Prince Mahidol prize in
Bangkok in 1992.

Sir Richard is a man who has always taken a deep interest in world affairs, far beyond the
traditional boundaries of medicine. He won the Ettore Majorana Erice "Science for Peace"
prize in 1990. For all of these reasons there can be no doubt that Sir Richard Doll is a very
worthy holder of the Andrija Stampar Medal, and I have great pleasure in presenting it to him
on your behalf.




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