Lawrence Waterman pays tribute to the late Sir Richard Doll, a renowned epidemiologist who proved the link between lung cancer and tobacco smoking, and helped clarify the link between asbestos exposure and cancer.

Sir Richard Doll (28 October 1912-24 July 2005) was the doyen of the world’s epidemiologists. He changed our livs (and saved a good many) when he proved the link between lung cancer and tobacco smoking. But his contribution to analysing the relationship between exposures and health outcomes went far wider, impacting in many ways on the modern workplace.

It is because of this work that the British Safety Council, together with IOSH, RoSPA and BOHS, nominated Sir Richard Doll as one of the BBC’s New Elizabethans, marking the Diamond Jubilee. These are men and women who have helped to define the second Elizabethan age.

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