McInroy & Wood Lectures

Since 2018, the McInroy & Wood Lecture has been bringing global issues to the fore, provoking both intelligent debate and standing ovations at the Borders Book Festival. This year’s lecture will take place within the festival online programme, and the topic will be no less profound. Dates and details are to be announced shortly.

The 2019 McInroy & Wood Lecture with David Nott: War Doctor

This is a remarkable story and one that will move many, even to tears. For more than twenty-five years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out life-saving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major London teaching hospital. Driven both by compassion and passion, the desire to help others and also the thrill of extreme personal danger, he is now acknowledged to be the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world.

But slowly David began to realise that flying into a catastrophe – whether war or natural disaster – was not enough. Local doctors needed to learn how to treat the appalling injuries that war inflicts upon its victims. Since 2015, his foundation has trained other doctors in the art of saving lives threatened by bombs and bullets. War Doctor is his extraordinary story.

The 2018 McInroy & Wood Lecture with Robert Peston

ITV’s political editor and presenter of Peston on Sunday, Robert Peston, talks about the mess facing liberal democracy and what can be done to mend the terrible fractures in our society. He looks at what must happen to prevent democracy being subverted by technocratic geniuses with the ability to manipulate social media, what can be done to staunch the widening gap between rich and poor and how to raise living standards for all. Based on his book WTF, this lecture is personal, angry and funny.