Interview with Mr Philip Lord, conducted by Mr Adam Wilkinson, for the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, 21 July 2016, in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. Transcribed by Mrs Debra Gee, and edited by Professor Tilli Tansey.
Mr Philip Lord MSc CMath FRSA (b. 1945) studied mathematics at Reading and London Universities, and also has a teaching certificate from the University of Sussex. He was a member of the MRC Air Pollution Unit’s scientific staff between 1968 and 1978, after a brief spell teaching. In the MRC, he undertook research applying mathematics and computer techniques to the study of lung function, lung morphology, and respiratory flow dynamics. The research involved him in the development of techniques for the automation of lung function measurement. He went on to a post as Technical Manager for medical publishing at Elsevier Science Publishers in Amsterdam, where he later became closely involved in the development of new technologies for scientific publishing. Here he became Vice Chairman of the ISO and NISO committees, which determined the format standards for CD-ROM (ISO9660). In 1991 he joined the pharmaceuticals industry, first at SmithKline Beecham and then GlaxoSmithKline, in which companies he led projects for managing large-scale regulatory documentation and for archiving scientific data. As a leader in the developing science of digital archiving, he set up his own digital archiving consultancy in 2002, and worked internationally to promote best practice. He is now semi-retired, but still teaches digital archiving at the University of Dundee. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in recognition of his contribution to archiving digital information.
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 e2017181-e2017187.
Access to the transcript of a longer, audio interview:
Example of how to cite: Wilkinson A (intvr); Yabsley A (prod) (2017) Lord, Philip: 01 - Becoming a scientist: the appeal of Maths & Physics (21-Jul-2016). History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), item e2017182. 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.
Mr Lord has contributed to our Wellcome Witness Seminar on Air Pollution Research in Britain c.1955–c.2000.