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Dawson Turner

Dawson Turner Radiology pioneer from great britain

Radiology pioneer from great britain
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Radiology pioneer from great britain
Countries United Kingdom
Occupations Pioneer
Gender male
Birth 1857
Death 1928
The details

Dr Dawson Fyers Duckworth Turner (1857-1928) was a British pioneer of radiology and patron of the arts, who died of radiation related cancer.


He was born in Liverpool in 1857 the son of Rev Dawson Turner. He attended Shrewsbury School. He then studied at Dalhousie College and Edinburgh University graduating in Medicine (MB ChM) in 1888 and receiving his doctorate (MD) in 1890. His career began unspectacularly, as a Lecturer in Medical Physics at Surgeons' Hall, Edinburgh. However, in 1896 (very soon after its discovery) he became Physician in Charge of X-Rays at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary remaining in this role until ill-health caused his retiral in 1925.

In 1901 he succeeded William Ivison Macadam as President of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (RSSA).

In 1906 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were James Affleck, Sir William Turner, Cargill Gilston Knott and James Gordon MacGregor. Early in his career he lost the fingers of his left hand to radiation and also lost an eye.

His Edinburgh address until retiral due to ill-health was 37 George Square. The building was demolished by Edinburgh University in the 1960s to make way for George Square Library.

In 1913 he is one of the earliest recorded persons using x-rays to treat Lymphosarcoma.

He died of radiation related cancer at Godalming in Surrey on Christmas Day 1928. His name one of the 14 British names of the 169 included on the Monument to the X-ray and Radium Martyrs of All Nations erected in Hamburg, Germany in 1936. In 1931 Edinburgh Royal Infirmary erected a memorial plaque to his memory in the radiology department.


He was married to Emily Barry, daughter of William Barry of Romford.

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