Sir Dugald Baird

Professor Sir Dugald BairdProfessor Sir Dugald Baird was Regius Professor of Midwifery in Aberdeen from 1937 to 1965. During this time he transformed the obstetric services such that for a time Aberdeen had the best birth outcomes in the UK, and among the best in Europe.

He was the first to show the huge effect of social factors on obstetric outcome and was a strong supporter of fertility control and reproductive rights for women. Under his leadership Aberdeen became a Mecca for obstetric practice and research. In recognition of the contribution made to health by the Baird family over many years in Aberdeen and elsewhere in Scotland, the new hospital in Aberdeen will be named the Baird Family Hospital. This new hospital will include maternity, gynaecology, breast screening and breast surgery services. It will also include a neonatal unit, centre for reproductive medicine, and research and teaching facilities.

Matthews Duncan

James Matthews DuncanJames Matthews Duncan was born in Aberdeen in 1826 and was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Marischal College. He continued his medical studies in Edinburgh and Paris and was one of the most inventive obstetricians of his time, becoming internationally recognised.

Practising much of the time in Edinburgh, he played a key role with J Y Simpson in discovering the anaesthetic properties of chloroform. He also wrote the first substantive scientific text on infertility called Fecundity, Fertility and Sterility. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society; he died in 1890.

Arnold Klopper

Professor Arnold KlopperProfessor Arnold Klopper was Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Aberdeen, retiring in 1987. He was a South African of left wing persuasion who left his native country in 1948 for that reason, continuing political activity including CND support alongside his scientific career in the UK.

He worked in London, Edinburgh and was then recruited to the MRC Obstetric Medicine Unit in Aberdeen by Sir Dugald Baird. He was one of the foremost reproductive endocrinologists of his time. He specialised in the fetal placental unit, discovering much about the role of estrogens in human pregnancy.