A symposium to mark Professor Sir Richard Peto's retirement was held at the Natural History Museum in Oxford on 29th June 2018. The programme celebrated his enormous contribution to epidemiology, with distinguished speakers from around the world discussing tobacco evidence, observational studies and randomised trials and sharing anecdotes about working with Richard. Videos of the presentations are available via the events page.
Richard Peto was the first to clearly describe the future worldwide health effects of current smoking patterns, predicting one billion deaths from tobacco in the present century if current smoking patterns persist, as against 'only' 100 million in the 20th century.
His investigations into the worldwide health effects of smoking and benefits of stopping at particular ages have helped to effectively communicate the vast and growing burden of disease from tobacco use, helped change national and international attitudes about smoking and public health, and helped many smokers to stop. He has recently collaborated in major studies of alcohol in Russia and of malaria in Africa and India.
Richard was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1989 for introducing meta-analyses of randomised trials, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1999 for services to epidemiology, and received the 2010 Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2011 BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award.