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Professor Sir Harry Burns

Senior Fellow

Sir Harry Burns is Strathclyde’s Professor of Global Health. He also has a leadership position within the International Prevention Research Institute (IPRI). Burns graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1974. He trained in surgery and was appointed Honorary Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow in 1984. Working with patients in the east end of Glasgow gave him an insight into the complex inter-relationships between socioeconomic status and illness. He completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 1990. In 1994, he became Greater Glasgow’s Public Health Director. He later was a national leader in cancer prevention and care. From 2005 until 2014, Dr Burns served as Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, where his responsibilities included public health policy. He gave strong priority to early childhood, including co-chairing the Scottish Government’s Early Years Task Force. He was knighted in 2011.

Of 70/30 he says

I do not view 70/30 as either wishful thinking or an unachievable goal. On the contrary, reducing child maltreatment by 70% in the next fifteen years is the minimum acceptable outcome in responding to this unacceptable (and profoundly costly) harm to our youngest children. Our actions as a society must prove that we really do find all child abuse, neglect and toxic childhood environments intolerable . . . by no longer tolerating them. Complementing my academic work, my affiliation with WAVE will help me keep taking actions that increase health, promote wellbeing and really give every child the kind of brilliant start in life we wish for our own children.