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January Social meeting

  • Sankeys 39 Mount Ephraim Tunbridge Wells TN4 8AU (map)

The new year gives us an opportunity to try something new - please join us for our first social meeting for 2019.

Steve Keevil works as a consultant clinical scientist in the NHS. He is head of one of the largest medical physics departments in the country, with around 140 staff working to ensure safe and effective use of medical technology throughout a major NHS foundation trust.  He is also Professor of Medical Physics at King’s College London, where he leads a centre providing health technology assessment support to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). He is a former President of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), the professional body for medical physics and clinical engineering in the UK.
Steve has been a Europhile since the early years of his career, when he worked on collaborative research projects involving multiple EU countries, culminating in a PhD on standardisation in clinical nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He specialised in MRI physics for most of his career, and in 2003 became aware of a new EU directive which would have created significant difficulties for clinical and research use of MRI scanners. This began a surreal period involving press conferences; meetings with MPs, MEPs, ministers and EU commissioners; and giving evidence before parliamentary committees in both Westminster and Brussels: all things for which a physics degree is not particularly good preparation! The directive was put on hold and then finally repealed and replaced in 2013. For his leadership of this work, Steve was made a Fellow of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) and an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Radiologists. The experience gave him valuable insight into the EU legislative process and particularly the system of checks and balances through which EU institutions work together to make laws, and the ways in which member state governments and EU citizens can contribute to the process.      
Steve attended a comprehensive school in south London before going on to study physics at Oxford. Although he has not been politically active in recent years, he is a former vice chair of Scientists for Labour, a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party, and of a Branch Labour Party in London. He now lives in Tunbridge Wells with his wife Hella, a Dutch citizen, and son Thomas, who is a sixth form student at The Skinners’ School. In his spare time, he is a church warden of St James’ Church. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers and a Freeman of the City of London (and yes, he has driven sheep across London Bridge).
It should be a fabulous evening...

‘As for Stephen Keevil, a lowly physicist in Guys hospital not known for much in anything (I would not call him a scientist) keeps on about low NHS funding, but had privilege education, reminding Harriet Harman.’
Anonymous comment, Iain Dale’s Diary, 10th April 2010
‘[Stephen Keevil]… the man who took on the EU, essentially single-handed, and appears to have won. Or at least is ahead on points’ Chair’s introduction, invited presentation at IPEM MR Safety Update, May 2007.

Earlier Event: January 22
Tonbridge Social Meeting
Later Event: January 26
Tunbridge Wells Action Day