Candid corpse

January 13, 1995

Liz Crossan, obituaries editor of the British Medical Journal, has been bemoaning the fact that many obituaries present a less than accurate picture of the late lamented. The BMJ at one point asked people to write their own in the hope that they would have insight into their own deficiencies and failures.

This strategy was not always successful, Ms Crossan admits, but the best self-written obituary came from the noted epidemiologist Archie Cochrane: "In 1957 he survived a professor of surgery's prognosis that he had only three months to live. He was not a real success as a professor, either as a teacher or on the senate, though his kindness to students was prov-erbial.

"He was a man with severe porphyria who smoked too much and was without the consolation of a wife, a religious belief, or a merit award -- but he didn't do so badly."

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor of Military Technology THE SWEDISH DEFENCE UNIVERSITY
Director of Digital Services STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY
Technician for Psychology Programmes ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

PhD lettered on book spine

Billy Bryan and Furaha Asani look at how to get the most out of your doctoral studies

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck