Blog: ‘Small news that should be bigger?’

Published: Friday February 17, 2017

It was one brief headline on the BBC news, just an end piece.

It said something about the developer of the MRI scan having died.

I’ve never had an MRI scan, my daughter has, but I haven’t.

In fact, I didn’t have clue what MRI stands for or who this man was.

But that one small headline stuck with me throughout the rest of the day and beyond.

I discovered that the man who had died was Sir Peter Mansfield.

He led a team in the 1970s to develop Magnetic Resonance Imaging, one of the most important breakthroughs in modern medicine.

Apparently, MRI scans generate 3D images of the body’s internal organs without potentially harmful X-rays, by utilising strong magnetic fields and radio waves.

I didn’t know that.  So I’m grateful to the BBC News website for telling me.

Now I’m no scientist – I couldn’t tell a test tube from a Bunsen burner at school – but it does seem to me that what Sir Peter Mansfield and his team did really changed the way we approached medical science and more importantly it changed people’s lives.

That’s people like you and me.

But here he was, a small headline on the news, a sente
nce or two in the newspaper.

As a society we grieve over the death of a celebrity and quite right too because they are often part of our own life journey.

But in Sir Peter Mansfield we have someone who was not only part of our life journey – he might also have been part of our life saving journey.

Rev Canon Richard Atkins

BBC Radio Gloucestershire

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