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Feature BMJ Group Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award: Who will succeed the follower of Lysistrata?

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 22 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1062
  1. Annabel Ferriman, news editor1,
  2. Adrian O’Dowd, freelance journalist2
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  2. 2Margate, UK
  1. aferriman{at}

Voting for the BMJ Group Lifetime Achievement Award is now open. Annabel Ferriman introduces this year’s award while Adrian O’Dowd reveals details of the shortlisted candidates

When Belgian senator Marleen Temmerman called on women in Belgium to refuse to have sex with their partners until the country’s politicians ended eight months of wrangling and formed a government, few people in the UK had heard of her. But readers of the BMJ were in the know and unsurprised.

For Professor Temmerman, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, had won the BMJ Group’s Lifetime Achievement Award last April. In that case, it was not for suggesting a “crossed leg strike” to end political deadlock (a solution advocated by the women of Greece in Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata) but for her services to women’s health in Belgium and Kenya. She was an impressive winner and stunned the audience with her passionate acceptance speech.

Now it is time for readers of the BMJ to choose another health champion by voting for one of this year’s shortlist. The award is for someone who, through a working lifetime, has made a unique and substantial contribution to improving healthcare. It is the only award where readers of the journal and members of the public are able to vote.

From a total of 88 entries, the science broadcaster Geoff Watts, and I (AF), as champion of the award, whittled down the nominees to a shortlist of 10, which was presented to the judging panel in early February.

The judging panel consisted of Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the BMJ; Maureen Bisognano, president and chief executive officer of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Iain Chalmers, one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration and editor of the James Lind Library; Andy Haines, professor of public health and primary …

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