December 6th 2006

Obituary for David V. Bates

Dear Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini:

It is my sad duty to inform you that our beloved Fellow, David V. Bates, M.D., died peacefully at his home in Vancouver, Canada on November 21, 2006. Professor Bates was a superb Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. He was a skilled physician and a noted researcher who focused his work on the diseases of the lung, and especially on the diseases caused by asbestos, silica and other toxic dusts. He was a gifted teacher. He was a man of great courage who was never afraid to speak truth to power.

Dr. Bates received his medical education in England and then moved to Canada. He served as Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of British Columbia from 1972 to 1977. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2003. He was poet, a voracious reader, a gifted academic, a scientist, a mentor, a gardener and a vintner.

I came to know Dr. Bates in the 1980s when we served together on a committee at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences investigating the human health effects of air pollution. From the beginning I was captivated by this warm, talented and courageous man who was always ready to extend the hand of friendship and never shy about expressing his views. I remember especially that David put me in touch with a long last branch of our family, whom we had not seen for several generations after they had emigrated to Canada.

David Bates was a dear friend and a true follower of Ramazzini. We shall miss him deeply.


Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc



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