June 2021

Volume 38, Issue 2

Obituary Gill Bradnock 1944 – 2020

doi:

Abstract

Community Dental Health (2021) 38,127 © BASCD 2021 Obituary Gill Bradnock 1944 – 2020 Gill was a key figure in dental public health at Birmingham and nationally who guided generations of students, many of whom themselves forged careers in dental public health and community dental practice. Growing up in Birmingham, Gill won a place at Yardley Grammar School and, after a variety of jobs including an extended period in Canada, returned to Birmingham as an IBM punch card operator at the dental school, this being the height of dental epidemiological data management at the time. She was a key member of the then dental public health unit led by Peter James with Andy Anderson, who had come north from ‘The Royal’ in the mid 1960s. Gill worked on fissure sealant trials, national surveys and local epidemiology studies such as trace elements and dental health and the associated famous Somerset studies. Gill completed her first degree through the Open University and then a PhD at Birmingham, adding a third degree following retirement in 2001. Over time, Gill as a sociologist, became an independent researcher and teacher, eventually leading the Birmingham unit in the discipline as Senior Lecturer. It was in Birmingham that BASCD held its very first meeting and it was through the development of the MCDH degree and its precursor, the Diploma in Community Dental Health, that many developed their skills in dental public health. Gill played a key role in all of these developments as well as being instrumental in establishing behavioural science in the undergraduate curriculum at Birmingham in the early 1990s. She supervised untold numbers of postgraduate students, as evidenced by the groaning shelves of bound theses and dissertations in her office. Her own role in the national surveys was in leading on the questionnaire and she did this with aplomb. She was a Council Member of BASCD and was rewarded with the rare honour of being a Honorary Life Member. Her role in promoting the academic disciplines of behavioural science and oral health promotion at national level was of considerable note. Gill was heavily committed to voluntary work be it chair of governors at a special school, working for the local food bank or the Oxfam shop. Gill was with immense personal qualities; from her courage and honesty to her empathetic nature which was well suited to her later role as senior tutor, counselling generations of anxious undergraduates. She has made a unique contribution to oral health and to the lives of many in the field. She leaves her husband Mike whom she met when he was a master’s student at Birmingham and their son, David. Our deepest sympathy goes to her family. 127

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