Susan Bewley was bowled over last week to receive the 4th BMJ editors’ award for her persistence and courage in ‘Speaking Truth to Power’. The surprise presentation was made while she was attending as a guest at the Friends of the British Medical Journal Christmas party.
Susan, professor of complex obstetrics at Kings College London, and a member of the HealthWatch committee, has been writing in the BMJ for 40 years. She began with challenging non-consensual vaginal examinations on anaesthetised women, and more recently has written on the subjects of female genital mutilation (FGM), the age-extension trial of breast screening, and conflicts of interest in medicine.
On receiving the award she expressed her gratitude to friends and colleagues. “In my more despondent moments the award will remind me I am not alone or mad, but that I must stay positive and endeavour to rant less and write more. I couldn’t do this without my support network. I may not have told you just how much your support has made a difference to me (or at least not thanked you often enough), but I am very grateful.”
Prof David Colquhoun
16th December 2015 was a winning date for another HealthWatch hero. David Colquhoun, professor of pharmacology at University College London, was presented with the Wellcome Gold Medal. The medal is awarded every two years by the British Pharmacological Society to recognize outstanding and sustained contributions to pharmacology, based mainly on research achievements.