Interview with Professor Alison Macfarlane, conducted by Mr Adam Wilkinson and Dr Christopher Derrett, for the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, 23 May 2016, in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. Transcribed by Mrs Debra Gee, and edited by Mr Alan Yabsley and Professor Tilli Tansey.
Professor Alison Macfarlane Dip Stat CStat FFPH (b. 1942) studied mathematics at Oxford (1961-1964), and took a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics at University College London (1964-1965). She worked as a statistician in agricultural research at Rothamsted Experimental Station (1965-1967); on transportation studies for Hertfordshire County Council (1967-1970); the Planning and Transport Research and Computation Company (1970); at the Centre for Urban Studies, University College London (1970-1971), and as a programmer at the National Environmental Research Council’s Experimental Cartography Unit (1971-1972). She joined the MRC Air Pollution Unit in 1972, and worked on, and developed, the daily mortality study initiated by Robert Waller and A E Martin. She left the Unit in 1975, and since then her work as an epidemiologist and statistician at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1975-1978), the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford (1978-2001), and City University London, has focused on maternal and child health statistics and evaluation of perinatal care. She has been Professor of Perinatal Health at City University London since 2001, part-time since 2011.
The History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group is funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is a registered charity (no. 210183). The current interview has been funded by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award entitled “Makers of modern biomedicine: testimonies and legacy” (2012-2017; awarded to Professor Tilli Tansey).
The interview is part of the History of the Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection).
Access to the transcript of this video interview and its related material:
History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), items e2017189-e2017195.
Access to the transcript of a longer, audio interview:
Example of how to cite: Wilkinson A, Derrett C (intvrs); Yabsley A (prod) (2017) Macfarlane, Alison: 01 - Developing an early interest in Maths (23-May-2016). History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), item e2017190. London: Queen Mary University of London.
Note: Video interviews are conducted following standard oral history methodology, and have received ethical approval (reference QMREC 0642). Video interview transcripts are edited only for clarity and factual accuracy. Related material has been deposited in the Wellcome Library.
© The Trustee of the Wellcome Trust, London, 2017.
Professor Macfarlane has contributed to our Wellcome Witness Seminars on Maternal Care and Air Pollution Research in Britain c.1955–c.2000.