Bicknell Lecture


William J. Bicknell, an outspoken, inspirational international health practitioner and advocate, was founder and chair emeritus of the Department of Global Health at the School of Public Health, and he helped develop the department into a globally recognized leader. He held a dual appointment at the School of Medicine as a professor and director of the international health programs in the Department of Family Medicine. During a varied career that spanned five decades and merged disciplines of practice and policy, Bicknell held posts as the first medical director of the Job Corps, Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, acting director of the Neighborhood Health Center Program for the US Office of Economic Opportunity, and medical director of health and retirement funds for the United Mine Workers of America. Bicknell endowed this annual lectureship to provide “a periodic but regular infusion of iconoclasts and original thinkers who will bring ideas to students and faculty that stretch, upset, stimulate, and leave us with renewed energy and commitment to make a real difference in the lives of the poor and the underserved.” He died of cancer in June 2012 at age 75, shortly after delivering a truly memorable “last lecture” to the SPH community.