Alison Chesney and Eddie Killoran

The public lectures are held in memory of Alison Chesney and Eddie Killoran, who both died within 6 months of one another, in 2006. Both were well known and respected figures in the drugs field over many years and are still much missed by family, friends and colleagues alike. Following their untimely deaths a number of their friends and former colleagues began discussions to determine what might be a fitting way to remember them. Their families supported the idea of an annual memorial lecture, at which they and the work they undertook might be celebrated by those who knew them and also brought to a wider audience.

Harry Shapiro delivered the 2016 memorial lecture, the seventh in the series.

Harry is the Director of DrugWise the international Knowledge hub, promoting evidence-based information on drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

He has worked in the drugs field for over 35 years, most recently as Director of Communications for DrugScope. He was DrugScope’s main media spokesperson, managing editor of Druglink and has written extensively on all aspects of drugs and drug-related issues combining this with lecturing, public speaking and advisory work for government. He remains the managing editor of DS Daily.

The title for Harry’s lecture was:

‘The Needle and the Damage Done’; drug users, media and stigma

In it he explored:

  • Popular culture representations of drug users.
  • Why have these representations been uniformly negative? Is it just about the drugs?
  • How for much of the past 100 years drug users have allowed interventions to be 'done to them' with little or any say in the matter
  • How this has been changed in recent years - user movements at national and international level - even though fraught with problems - and completely hidden from public view.

The video recording of the lecture can be watched here.

Marewa Glover


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Fiona Patten


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David Wilson


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Ruth Dreifuss


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Harry Shapiro


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Sir Harry Burns


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Manuel Carballo


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Michel Kazatchkine


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John Ashton


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Rosalie Pacula


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Gerry Stimson


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Founded in 2012 City Health International is a network of individuals and organisations engaged in the study of and response to structural health issues and health behaviours in the urban environment. For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population now live in urban environments and the proportion continues to grow. As national governments struggle to deal with the pressures and demands of growing urban populations against a backdrop of financial deficits and uncertainty, it is increasingly left to those working at a city level to provide the leadership and support needed to tackle key health issues.