David Skegg

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Professor David Skegg

Sir David Christopher Graham Skegg KNZM OBE FRSNZ (born 16 December 1947) is a New Zealand epidemiologist and university administrator. He is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago and Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine. His primary research interest is cancer epidemiology.[1][2][3]


Skegg was born in Auckland and attended King's College, Auckland. He entered the medical course at the University of Otago, travelling on exchange to Harvard University. He later received a (postgraduate) Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, joining Balliol College and working with noted epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll.[1][4]

Returning to Otago, Skegg took up the departmental chair in Preventive and Social Medicine in 1980. In 2004, he took up the Vice-Chancellorship of the university. He stood down from that position in 2011. He was appointed President of the Royal Society of New Zealand in July 2012.[5]

Skegg has acted as a consultant to the World Health Organization and to the New Zealand government. He chaired the Health Research Council, the Science Board, and the Public Health Commission.[6] In 1990, he was appointed an OBE for services to medicine and, in the 2009 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, also for services to medicine.[7] Later in 2009, he accepted re-designation as a Knight Companion following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.[8] He has contributed to the study of cervical, breast and prostate cancer, as well as contraceptives and reproductive health.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Old Collegian becomes Otago University Chancellor". King's College. 2003. Archived from the original on 22 April 2004. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  2. ^ Smirk, Susan (2010). "Skegg". Critic Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011.
  3. ^ Rutherford, Jill (2004). "To Lead" (PDF). Otago Magazine. University of Otago.
  4. ^ "Conference of Executive Heads: Invited Speakers". Association of Commonwealth Universities. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Royal Society of New Zealand announces new President". Royal Society of New Zealand. 12 March 2012. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  6. ^ Skegg, David (2019). The health of the people. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books. p. 141. ISBN 9781988545585. OCLC 1089437275.
  7. ^ "New Year honours list 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Special honours list 1 August 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  9. ^ Johnston, Martin (31 December 2008). "Honours List: Cancer researcher lifted lid on healthcare faults". The New Zealand Herald.

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