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ISHRAD, Paris, 5 October 2024 click here for information/ registration

UKIO Liverpool History session

John Clifton Essay 

Other Features inc annual lectures



The ‘History of Radiology’ session

UKIO, Liverpool 12 June 2024






Report by Dr Arpan K Banerjee Chair ISHRAD (International Society for the History

of Radiology), Trustee and Past Chair British Society for the History of Radiology


This year’s annual radiology imaging and oncology congress was held again in the ACC, Liverpool. The radiology history session organised by the BSHR was held on the afternoon of Wednesday 12 June and consisted of five talks with the session chaired by Elizabeth Beckmann.

The first talk titled ‘Double Indemnity –the arrival of the digital twin’ was delivered by Dr Michael Jackson the current chair of the BSHR. Since the rise of artificial intelligence algorithms over the last decade the term digital twin ( produced by simulation) has promised us health benefits in the years to come. In the talk the use of digital twins in the media, cinema and television was also described. Ethical considerations and the good/evil dichotomy have been exemplified in the Batman films. The role of digital twins pose ethical and environmental challenges as well as increasing high tech high carbon cost healthcare which with a climate crisis seems a perverse way forward.

The next talk was delivered by Prof Adrian Thomas on ‘John Poland of Blackheath and the development of paediatric orthopaedics’. John Poland (1855-1937) was an orthopaedic surgeon at the Miller General Hospital in Greenwich. He was interested in paediatric skeletal trauma and following the discovery of X-rays produced his hugely influential book ‘Traumatic Separation of the Epiphyses’ in 1898 incorporating new knowledge gained from radiography. In that same year he published the first bone age atlas.

At the Miller Hospital Poland worked with the surgeon Thomas Moore and the scientist William Webster and in March 1896 Moore and Webster radiographed the fractured ribs of a child attending the Miller Hospital. This X-ray department, founded in 1896, was one of the first in the world.

The next talk by Kimberley Bradshaw from the University of Cumbria was titled ‘Florence Stoney and formidable feminism in the history of radiology’. The life and work of Florence Stoney the first UK female radiologist was presented. She qualified from the Royal Free Hospital in 1895 returning as a medical electrician in 1901 and eventually leading this department. Her work during the WW1 was described as well as her post war life and career. She was a remarkable person and an inspiring example of what can be achieved with determination in spite of the difficulties she faced.

Edwin Aird was unable to present his talk and so Prof Thomas delivered the talk on ‘The million volt radiotherapy X-ray set at St Bartholomew’s hospital in 1938’ In the 1930s high voltage X-ray tubes were in use to treat cancer. In the USA higher voltage tubes for treatment were being discussed. At St Bartholomew’s hospital following a legacy George Innes set about solving this problem and eventually Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company installed an X-ray tube, which by 1938, operated successfully at 1MV, and continued treating patients until 1962.

The final talk was delivered by Dr Arpan K Banerjee titled ‘Francis H Williams- an American Radiology pioneer’. Francis Williams started off as a physician and worked in the Boston City Hospital and collaborated with the Physics Prof at the MIT Charles Cross who initially provided him with the early equipment to X-ray patients in 1896. He collaborated with Rollins another pioneer in the USA and produced his magnum opus in 1901 ‘The Rontgen Rays in Medicine and Surgery’. His contributions to chest radiology were described including early descriptions of Tuberculosis in the chest amongst many other descriptions of chest pathology.

The BSHR stand this year was again very popular with numerous visitors. Thanks to Michael Jackson for his short education sessions on the stands covering topics such as ‘art and artefact’ and ‘bone age assessment’. Thanks are also due to Adrian and Johanna for their work on the stand and also to Tina and Arpan Banerjee for helping man the stand with Adrian and Johanna over the three days. It was nice to see so many delegates stop by and have a chat about the society.







About the prize

The British Society for the History of Radiology is pleased to invite entries for the John Clifton Essay Prize, an initiative to promote research and insight into the history of radiological sciences (including medical imaging, radiotherapy & nuclear medicine).

We are keen to receive essays that explore all aspects of radiology history including scientific discovery and technological development; biographical accounts; societal impact and cultural dimensions. Essays which explore less well-known events / figures, or which demonstrate the relevance of historical events to current and future practice are encouraged. Topics may include diagnostic imaging, interventional techniques, radiotherapy and may seek to highlight the work of radiologists, radiographers, physicists and engineers, or may explore imaging and therapeutic techniques from the patient’s perspective. Whilst entries are open to all, we particularly welcome participation from healthcare professionals in training and from undergraduates. Essays should be based on accurate historical research, but personal insights, reflections and perspectives can be included.

The prize is named in honour of Professor John Clifton, renowned medical physicist and member of BSHR, who sadly died in 2023.

Competition details

Closing date: Friday 6th September 2024

Word limit: 5000

Essays should be submitted in Word.

Essays should be fully referenced.

If images are included, it should be possible to determine the copyright status to facilitate potential publication. Entries must not have been previously published elsewhere.

Entries will be judged by members of the BSHR Council and should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


First prize of £250 (and publication in Invisible Light / BSHR website) Additional prizes may be awarded at the judges’ discretion. Winners will also receive a year’s membership of BSHR.

All entries will be considered for publication in Invisible Light, the Society’s journal, and on the BSHR website. Winners will be announced at the BSHR Online lecture, 8th November 2024. 





 See Arpan Banerjee' article about Roentgen published in radmagazine in November 2023 to celebrate the
world day of radiology. Check here.



Annual Lecture 2024

Signs and Symbols: Heraldry from Roentgen to The Present Day

Stephen Keevil

Watch the lecture video



OnLine Lecture 2023 

The Mummy Returns 

Dr Ash Chakraborty

Watch the Lecture video