Richard is Editor in Chief of The Lancet. He is an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and the University of Oslo. He has received honorary doctorates in medicine from the University of Birmingham and the Universities of Gothenburg and Umea in Sweden, and is an honorary fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. He has a strong interest in global health and medicine’s contribution to our wider culture. He now works to develop the idea of planetary health – the health of human civilizations and the ecosystems on which they depend.
After qualifying in physiology and medicine at the University of Birmingham in 1986, he joined The Lancet in 1990. From 2011 to 2015, he co-chaired the UN's independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. In 2016, he was appointed to the High-Level Working Group for the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children, and Adolescents, and also chaired the Expert Group for the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.
He has written two reports for the Royal College of Physicians of London: Doctors in Society (2005) and Innovating for Health (2009) and, in 2003, wrote Health Wars about contemporary issues in medicine and health. In 2016, he received the Andrija Stamper medal from the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European region and, in 2017, was awarded the Edwin Chadwick Medal for outstanding contributions to the advancement of public health.