Richard Peto

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Sir Richard Peto

Born (1943-05-14) 14 May 1943 (age 79)[1]
EducationTaunton's School
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA)
Imperial College London (MSc)[1]
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsMedical Statistics, Clinical Trials, Epidemiology of Smoking.
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
Green Templeton College, Oxford
InfluencesRichard Doll

Sir Richard Peto FRS (born 14 May 1943)[1] is an English statistician and epidemiologist who is Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, England.[4][5][6]


He attended Taunton's School in Southampton and subsequently studied the Natural Sciences Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge[when?] followed by a Master of Science degree in Statistics at Imperial College London.[1][when?]

Career and research[edit]

His career has included collaborations with Richard Doll beginning at the Medical Research Council Statistical Research Unit in London. He set up the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) in Oxford in 1975 and is currently co-director. Peto's paradox is named after him.

Awards and honours[edit]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1989 for his contributions to the development of meta-analysis. He is a leading expert on deaths related to tobacco use. "When Sir Richard Peto began work with the late Richard Doll fifty years ago, the UK had the worst death rates from smoking in the world. Smoking was the cause of more than half of all premature deaths of British men."[7] He was knighted for his services to epidemiology and to cancer prevention in 1999, and he received an honorary Doctor of Medical Sciences degree from Yale University in 2011.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

His brother Julian Peto, with whom he has published work in mathematical statistics (e.g. on the logrank test), is also a distinguished epidemiologist. His family runs a Thai restaurant in the Covered Market, Oxford, of whose parent company he is a director.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2017). "Peto, Sir Richard". Who's Who. (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.30686. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Professor Richard PETO | Jeantet". 1 October 2017.
  3. ^ Knottnerus, J. A. (2008). "The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine 2008 awarded to Sir Richard Peto". Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. 152 (41): 2216–2218. PMID 19009807.
  4. ^ Mann, C. (1990). "Richard Peto: Statistician with a Mission". Science. 249 (4968): 479. doi:10.1126/science.249.4968.479. PMID 17735279. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Royal Society citation".
  6. ^ "Experts Examined - Sir Richard Peto". 13 June 2005 – via
  7. ^ "The Life Scientific - Richard Peto on why smoking kills but quitting saves lives - BBC Sounds".
  8. ^ "Sir Richard Peto". University of Oxford. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Yale University: Honorary Degrees". USA: Yale University. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Sasi's Thai". Find The Company. UK. Retrieved 24 May 2015.

Selected publications[edit]