Speakers Profile - Norman Swan

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Host of the Health Report, on ABC Radio National, presenter of Health Minutes on ABC NewsRadio and health commentator on ABC Television's Catalyst, Dr Norman Swan, is a multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist. In addition, he is the medical host in the 2010 season of Biggest Loser on Channel 10.

One of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, Norman was born in Scotland, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen and later obtained his postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics.

Joining the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1982, Norman was named Australian Radio Producer of the Year in 1984 and was awarded a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes for his radio work. He has won three Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism, including the prestigious Gold, and Australia's top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daly Award, twice.

One example of Norman's work is his investigative program on scientific fraud and the well-known gynaecologist Dr William McBride. The program exposed fraudulent research, moved authorities to reform how research was monitored in Australia and led to Dr William McBride being de-registered. It earned Dr Swan the 1988 Australian Writers' Guild Award for best documentary and a Gold Walkley.

In 2004 he was awarded the Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, an honour that had only been given three times and the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow made him a Fellow. In 2006 he was given a Doctorate of Medicine Hon Causa by the University of Sydney during its medical school's 150th anniversary.

Norman was co host of the social affairs programme, Life Matters on ABC Radio National for five years and is frequently a guest host on Late Night Live and Radio National's news and current affairs Breakfast programme. He also edits his own newsletter, The Choice Health Reader, which is published in partnership with CHOICE.

On television, in addition to Catalyst, Dr Swan hosted its predecessor, Quantum, and has been a reporter on Four Corners. He hosted Health Dimensions on ABC Television, and created, wrote and narrated a four part series on disease and civilisation, "Invisible Enemies", made for Channel 4(UK) and SBS Television. This has been shown in twenty seven countries. He also co-wrote and narrated "The Opposite Sex", a four part series for ABC Television.

Norman Swan has been the Australian correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal and consults for the World Health Organisation in Geneva. In late 2008 Norman co-chaired a global meeting of Health Ministers in West Africa which pursued the goal of making health policy evidence-based and is facilitating a follow up meeting in Singapore in October 2009.