Published: 14/03/2002, Volume II2, No. 5796 Page 8

Prolific social and medical historian Professor Roy Porter has died aged 55. Professor Porter, who wrote on topics ranging from the history of medicine to the historical significance of gout, died while he was cycling to his allotment near St Leonards, East Sussex.The cause of death has not yet been established.

Professor Porter earned a starred double first at Cambridge and went on to teach, first at Cambridge and later in London - where he became professor in the social history of medicine at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine from 1993. Professor Porter was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994, and made an honorary fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.