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Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts

Jan 4, 2018

Press Release•
Sat, November 04, 2017, 7:16 PM
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Maurice Papworth - The story of one man’s battle against the medical establishment - by Joanna Seldon - University of Buckingham Press - Hardback £14.99 

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Maurice Pappworth’s seminal work Human Guinea Pigs (1967), the controversial book which unearthed shocking practices within the medical establishment including experimentation on humans. Despite ethical principles set up by the Nuremburg code, Pappworth uncovered increasingly invasive procedures on vulnerable groups including babies, pregnant women and cancer patients up until the 1970’s in Britain, the US and Canada. From deliberately inducing heart stoppage to achieve better X-Rays and oxygen deprivation on infants to the deliberate blistering of children’s abdomens, Pappworth named and shamed those that placed the pursuit of science above ethical practice and put lives at risk.

The Whistle-Blower is the first biography exploring the life of Pappworth, a physician who reshaped the medical establishment and helped change the face of medical ethics with Human Guinea Pigs. Brilliant, Jewish, already an outsider, Maurice Pappworth was recognised as the best medical teacher of his generation. Unafraid to speak his mind, Pappworth’s exposés were frequently covered in the press and eventually led to stricter codes of practise for human experimentation. From the Rights of Patients Bill to the establishment of ethical committees in the UK, The Whistle-Blower examines the impact Maurice Pappworth had on the medical establishment.

Maurice Pappworth’s daughter, the late Joanna Seldon, reassesses the importance of Human Guinea Pigs as a major milestone in the development of modern research ethics. The Whistle-Blower calls for a re-evaluation of the pioneering medical ethicist who compromised his own career for the protection of the patient.

About the Author

Dr Joanna Seldon, wife of historian, and political commentator, Sir Anthony Seldon, was an independent teacher and writer who died in 2016 after losing her battle with cancer. She was awarded the top first in her year reading English at Oxford University and went on to complete a Ph.D. She has published a range of novels, short-stories, poems and non-fiction titles including Still Crazy (2013), Squared (2014), Piper’s Hole (2014) and Waterloo to Wellington: From Iron Duke to Enlightened College (2015). 
Order the book here:

Sir Anthony Seldon is a political historian and commentator on British political leadership as well as on education and contemporary Britain. He is also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

He was previously the 13th Master (headmaster) of Wellington College, one of the country's most famous and historic independent schools. He was co-founder and first Director of the Institute of Contemporary British History. He is also author or editor of some 40+ books.


Sir Anthony Seldon MA, PhD, FRSA, MBA, FRHisS

Anthony Seldon is a leading authority on contemporary British history and education and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. He was formerly Master of Wellington College, one of the world's most famous independent schools. He is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, politics and education and is the author on, and honorary historical advisor to, Downing Street.

After gaining an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford, and a PhD at the London School of Economics, he qualified as a teacher at King's College, London, where he was awarded the top PGCE prize in his year.

In 1993, he was appointed Deputy Headmaster and, ultimately, Acting Headmaster of St Dunstan's College in South London. He then became Headmaster of Brighton College from September 1997 until he joined Wellington College in January 2006 as 13th Master. He left Wellington College in summer 2015 to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, the only independent university in the UK with a Royal Charter.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and King's College London. He was knighted in the Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours list for services to education and modern political history. He founded the Sunday Times (now Telegraph) Festival of Education and most recently the Festival of Higher Education, and is widely known for introducing and promoting happiness, wellbeing and mindfulness across education.

Portrait by Caroline Ayles

Portrait by Caroline Ayles

He founded, with Professor Lord Peter Hennessy, the Institute of Contemporary British History, the internationally renowned body whose aim is to promote research into, and the study of, British history since 1945.

He founded Action for Happiness with Professor Lord Richard Layard and Geoff Mulgan. He is governor of several bodies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is Chair of The Comment Awards.

Some of Anthony Seldon's books include:

Churchill's Indian Summer, which won a Best First Work Prize; Major, A Political Life, the authorised biography of the former Prime Minister; Conservative Century, the standard academic history of the Conservative Party; The Powers Behind the Prime Minister, co-written with Professor Dennis Kavanagh; Number 10: The Illustrated History, which he is currently updating for publication in 2016; The Foreign Office: A History of the Place and its PeopleBlair and Blair Unbound, his acclaimed two-part biography of the former Prime Minister; three volumes of edited books on the Blair governments; Trust: How We Lost it and How to Get it BackBrown at 10, with Guy Lodge; The Great War and Public Schools, with David Walsh; and The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador's Residence in Washington, written with Daniel Collings. In March 2015 his new books, Beyond Happiness and The Coalition Effect 2010-2015, co-authored with Dr Mike Finn, were published. His latest political history, the authorised study Cameron at 10 with Peter Snowdon, was published in September 2015. The book is the inside story of the Cameron premiership, based on over 400 in-depth interviews with senior figures in 10 Downing Street, including the Prime Minister himself. He has also been historical consultant on the memoirs of several former Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries.

Sir Anthony is regarded as one of the country's most authoritative high profile commentators on contemporary history and on education and appears regularly on television and radio and in the press, and writes for several national newspapers. His views have regularly been sought by the government and political parties.

He was married to Joanna, who also taught and wrote, and they have three children, Jessica, Susannah and Adam. According to 'Who's Who, his interests are sport, directing plays, family and old English sports cars.