Monday, February 15, 2010

Dr Joan Austoker RIP

Was sad to see an obituary in today's Times for Dr. Joan Austoker. It begins:

"Dr Joan Austoker was a brilliant communicator to the public of the importance of early detection of cancer through screening, whose writings reached millions of homes. She wrote much of the public guidance that was crucial in helping women to consider the benefits and limitations of screening.

She conveyed the complex biology in an accessible way that encouraged many people to accept their invitation for screening and have their condition diagnosed before it became lifethreatening. The present Department of Health National Awareness and Early Detection Initiative is the product of her work over the past two decades."

The rest of it is here

The thing is, when I saw the name, I was pretty sure that this was the same woman who taught me biology when I was twelve. I remember her clearly, mainly because I liked to sit in the back of the class with my friend Fran and do my maths homework until Dr. Austoker decided that I couldn't see the board properly from there and had me sit up at the front next to her :-) Somehow, I am really glad to learn that in fact she was a wonderful woman, and am also sad that I did not know it until now.

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