Ian MunroGeoffrey MatthewsPeter William PriceConstance Dix (“Dixie”) RobertsPeter James Roylance
(Published 08 February 1997)
Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:447
After house jobs and National Service with a brief spell in radiology, Ian Munro's whole professional life was spent at the Lancet. At the time this length of service made him the longest ever full time medical staff member of any medical journal, and the record probably persists to this day. But there was much more to Ian than mere survival (though that was an achievement: in those days assistant editors at the Lancet came and went at such a rate that one of the many distinguished in later life proposed establishing a dining club). Ian wrote quickly and lucidly, being described by a predecessor, arguably the greatest medical editor of all time, Sir Theodore (Robbie) Fox, as the best medical journalist he had ever met. He espoused the traditional Lancet values of tolerance and fairness, being an adamant supporter of the National Health Service. And to his editorials he brought a particular emphasis on topics dear to his heart: the perils of nuclear stockpiling; world population; the rights of women everywhere to contraception and abortion; and support for the radical feminist obstetrician Dr Wendy Savage in her battles at the (Royal) London Hospital.
Ian also had a major role in re-establishing the …