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MedSin 6.30pm Monday 9 November 2009 Plymouth

Environmental and historical contexts are vital in describing and understanding disease in a population. The environment of Gaza and the predicament of its people are unique. To know of it and to feel it in your bones will help you to a deeper understanding of euphemism - 'ethnic cleansing', isolation, stigmatization and, with this latter word on my tongue, crucifixion.

In transporting you again over those 3,100 sea miles to Gaza, you will consider what are the essentials of human existence on this beautiful planet. Good water and food for the body. The love of family. Security within a society. Nourishment for the soul.

I will stick to my text and a few pictures so that I can end inside 50 minutes to allow plenty of time for questions.

Short address in the event of being given the GENEROSITY award

at St Mellion, Friday 29th of October 2004

I am humbled and I thank you with words that I hope are far removed from Hollywood.

We are more the creatures of our upbringing than our genes I think - more of nurture than nature.

My Mum had a very soft heart and she loved babies and the natural world as do I. She said "share and share alike" to the four of us. I was the eldest of four in those lean war and post war years.

My Dad had a rudimentary education and a frustrated intellect. He said things like "you can only do your best" and "stand up for yourself". The latter certainly spurred independence of thought but sometimes sounded hard to a sensitive youngster.