Godfrey Hounsfield

Case contributed by Richard Waltham

A mild-mannered, pleasant but determined genius, Godfrey Hounsfield made a great breakthrough in medical imaging by introducing the first commercial CT scanner in 1972. His revolutionary method led to fast, pain-free and accurate diagnosis inside the human brain, and today it brings better health to people all over the world. 

The man who pioneered this had no medical training. He left school with no qualifications, and he is one of the few Nobel Prize winners not to have attended university. He was mostly self-taught and he thought in unusual ways, using pictures, analogies and intuition. He was a peaceful man, but his wartime years in the RAF, during which he became a radar instructor, were a major turning point, and this boy from a farm went on to change the world.

Godfrey Hounsfield believed strongly that science and engineering could improve life and health for ordinary people, and he wanted to pass on that enthusiasm to the next generation.

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Case information

rID: 24655
Published: 2nd Sep 2013
Last edited: 6th Feb 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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