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Professor Ruth Freeman 1954 – 2021


Professor Ruth Freeman a longstanding and highly regarded member of BASCD passed away on the 23rd of September 2021.  Ruth qualified in dentistry in 1979 and completed her PhD in 1983, at the Queen’s University of Belfast. She then studied at the University of London where she completed her Dental Public Health training.  Between 1984-1989 Ruth worked as a lecturer in Dental Public Health and Dental Practice at University College London with Professor Aubrey Sheiham, before returning to Queen’s University of Belfast where she became Professor of Dental Public Health in 2000.  In 2006, Ruth became Professor of Dental Public Health Research at the University of Dundee and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health for Highland Health Board. She was the Director of the Oral Health and Health Research Programme and a Co-Director of the Dental Health Services Research Unit. Besides being an active member of BASCD she was also member of the British Psychoanalytic Council and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians (UK).  She wrote many books including Preparing for Dental Practice (with Trevor Burke) and Communicating in Dental Practice: Stress-Free Dentistry and Improved Patient Care (with her husband Gerry Humphris).

Besides having an eminent and productive career in dental public health, Ruth was also a good friend and well-loved by many of us at BASCD.  My (Maria Morgan) most recent memory of her is presenting at Professor Gail Douglas’s presidential conference in May 2019. Her talk was comprehensive and thought provoking but the thing that I remember most was the chat following the session, her smile and her humanity, the fact that Ruth cared about her fellow man.  Thank you, Ruth, for being an advocate for those who needed a voice.


BASCD Spring Scientific Meeting, May 2019