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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Doll blue plaqueThe former north Oxford home of Professor Sir Richard Doll (1912-2005), the Founder Warden of Green College and world-renowned epidemiologist, has been recognised by the unveiling of a blue plaque.

Blue plaques commemorate links between famous people and events and buildings, marking buildings where they have lived and worked.

The plaque was unveiled at Doll's home at 12 Rawlinson Road - where he and his wife Joan Faulkner moved after retirement in 1983 - at a small ceremony on Sunday 7 June attended by Professor Ingrid Lunt, Acting Principal of Green Templeton College, Doll's son and daughter, the Lord Mayor of Oxford, and the Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council among others.

GTC Fellow Professor Sir Richard Peto (pictured below with Professor Ingrid Lunt), epidemiologist and Doll's close colleague, spoke at the ceremony.

Sir Richard Peto and Professor Ingrid Lunt

The blue plaque reads:

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board
Regius Professor of Medicine
who discovered the
main hazards of smoking
lived here
Green Templeton College

One of the foremost medical scientists of the 20th century, William Richard Shaboe Doll was a pioneer in research linking smoking to health problems such as heart disease and lung cancer, and his work helped to prevent many thousands of premature deaths from smoking.

He also undertook pioneering research into the contraceptive pill and the relationship between asbestos and lung cancer, and also introduced the concept of the randomised controlled medical trial, a method of assessing the effectiveness of a treatment or procedure that was one of the most important developments in medical research in the second half of the 20th century.

Doll was appointed Regius Professor of Medicine in 1969. He led the modern transformation of the Oxford Medical School and became the prime mover behind the drive to establish a college for clinical medics, attracting funding from Dr Cecil Green. When Green College opened in 1979, Doll was its Founder Warden, a post he held until 1983.

His work has been recognised throughout the world: he received honorary degrees from 13 universities, and won countless awards, including the United Nations Award for Cancer Research in 1962 and the gold medal of the European Cancer Society in 2000. He received his knighthood in 1971.

Visit the Oxfordshire Blue Plaque Scheme website

Photographs by Julian Hall.