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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Artist Frank Boelter sitting in life-size paper boat

Creator of crowdfunding teaching tool says entrepreneurship courses should drop the traditional business plan as a method of assessment

Superhero costumes hanging on a washing line

Senior management do not recognise support staff’s pivotal role in achieving positive student outcomes, administrators say

Man photocopying a book

Students think it ‘unfair’ to be punished for unintentional plagiarism

Child drives miniature car into people

Smaller, newer alternative providers are less likely to pass higher education review, analysis says

to write students’ assessed essays in return for cash

Vic Boyd was on the lookout for academic writing opportunities. What she found was somewhat less appetising...