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[Perspectives] Sally Davies: CMO, scientist, and campaigner

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, is that rare being, a scientist who is prepared to expose herself to public scrutiny to try to make a difference to people’s lives. She is portrayed in the popular press as the nation’s nagging nanny, who runs, counts calories, and asks herself whether she is prepared to raise her own cancer risk before having a glass of wine. Davies is undismayed. “That increases the debate”, she says with her habitual upbeat robustness. “It is to be welcomed in that way.” When she was lampooned in a Times cartoon, colleagues told her it showed she was having an impact.