Ian G. MacDonald
(9 Apr 1903 - 9 Mar 1968)
Canadian surgeon and radiologist who specialized in cancer research, treatment and the use of radiotherapy. His career began as a house surgeon in Canada (1917). He moved to America in 1931 to teach surgery and pathology at the University of Southern California. His later research work included investigating breast cancer, and he developed a theory of biological predeterminism of cancer (1962). In the 1950s and 60s, in his testimony to Congressional Committees investigating the health consequences of smoking, he summarized findings to deny any convincing link with cancer.
Science Quotes by Ian G. MacDonald (1 quote)
Dr Ian G. MacDonald, a Los Angeles surgeon who smokes (but doesn't inhale), contends that “For the majority of people, the use of tobacco has a beneficial effect, far better for you than taking tranquilizers.”
— Ian G. MacDonald
Quoted in Newsweek (18 Nov 1969), 62, Pt. 2, 66. A misguided comment, often seen as the shortened quote “For the majority ... beneficial effect” in a list of regrettable remarks, without the fuller context of the quote given here. MacDonald was quoted in the article to be an example that physicians were not unanimous in their attitudes against smoking. The quote is an opinion expressed to the reporter; it was not the result of scholarly research.