Designatory Letters: 
MB Aberd 1946, MD Aberd 1957, FRCP Edin 1984

(Contributed by Peter Brunt, Obituaries Editor)

Professor Taylor died in 2012 in his 90th year, in New Zealand, where he had spent most of his working life and retirement. His interests were respiratory physiology (where his special contribution was in oxygen toxicity), classics and medical history. He was born in 1922 in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire. The unusual spelling of his first name was apparently due his father’s ‘slip of the pen’ on his birth certificate. He graduated MB in Aberdeen in 1946 having first espoused classics. After a spell in the RAMC he returned to the Physiology Department at Aberdeen only to move to Otago in New Zealand in 1962. There he proved a very popular teacher and was given a personal professorship subsequently to become Associate Dean. He was made FRCPE in 1984.

His early career was wholly in respiratory physiology but later, and in retirement, his work was in medical history. His lasting contribution was his remarkable study of the lives of three professors of anatomy of Edinburgh (1720-1846) – the three Alexander Monros, whose priceless records were taken to the library in Otago by one of the Monro family. Taylor won awards for his book The Monro Collection in the Medical Library of the University of Otago.

Douglass Taylor was an accomplished linguist and classical scholar. He played croquet at international level and with his wife, Dorothy, who survives him, had a great interest in choral singing in the Dunedin choir.