Seaton, Anthony

Interview conducted by Professor Tilli Tansey, for the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, 16 August 2016, in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. Transcribed by Mrs Debra Gee, and edited by Professor Tilli Tansey and Mr Adam Wilkinson. The project management and the technical support (video production and editing) were undertaken by Mr Adam Wilkinson and Mr Alan Yabsley, respectively.
Professor Anthony Seaton CBE MD DSc FRCP FRCPE FMedSci (b. 1938) qualified from Cambridge in 1962. He trained at Liverpool in general medicine, cardiology, and neurology. After senior posts in respiratory medicine in West Virginia, USA and Cardiff, he became Director of the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh (1978-1990). He was also Head of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Aberdeen University from 1988 until his retirement in 2003 (now Emeritus). His research from 1969 to 1990 largely concerned asthma and occupational lung diseases, and led to the development of UK protective health standards in coalmining, asbestos work, and the silica, wool, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industries. Throughout his career he worked as a National Health Service (NHS) Consultant, and taught respiratory and occupational medicine. He has written seven books and over 300 papers on respiratory and occupational medicine, and other topics, and has lectured on these subjects internationally. He was the Editor for Thorax from 1977 to 1981, and in 1999/2000 he was President of the British Thoracic Society. He chaired the UK Government’s Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, and sat on the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants from 1991 to 2003, and the Royal Society’s Working Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from 2003 to 2005.
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 History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group’s website:
Access to the transcript of this video interview and its related material: 
History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), items e2017031-e2017043.
Access to the transcript of a longer, audio interview:
Example of how to cite: Tansey E M (intvr); Yabsley A (prod) (2017) Seaton, Anthony: 01 - Becoming a doctor: family influences and René Dubos (16-Aug-2016). History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), item e2017032. 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 Seaton has contributed to our Wellcome Witness Seminar on Air Pollution Research in Britain c.1955–c.2000.