Professor Adrian Davis OBE

Adrian stands outside with trees behind him. He is wearing a blue tshirt and glasses and smiles.

Areas of Interest

Health Care

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences


Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Professor Adrian Davis OBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences.

Professor Adrian Davis is an award-winning and globally-recognised expert in sensory impairment, with an OBE for healthcare presented by Her Majesty the Queen in 2007.

Adrian has had an illustrious career, serving as Head of Population Health Sciences for Public Health England as well as Deputy Director for Research with Public Health England. We are proud of his ongoing work since 2015 as Visiting Professor of Hearing and Vision here at ARU.

He is also one of the lead researchers for the Global Burden of Disease project and specialises in sensory impairments and disability weights. He has recently worked with the World Health Organisation technical advisory group and he contributed as a technical expert for the world report on hearing and adult hearing screening.

Adrian has published extensively and his research has shown substantial inequalities in the distribution of hearing impairment by sex, age, and deprivation in most populations. He has demonstrated that the uptake of, access to and benefits from interventions follow Inverse Care Law, where the most needy get the least access to interventions and their benefit.

As an epidemiologist and public health scientist with the UK Medical Research Council for 25 years, he led the UK National Study of Hearing, the world’s largest scientific population-based study of hearing and hearing impairment, which informed the strategy for audiology services in the UK and elsewhere.

Adrian was also instrumental in starting and steering the Population Hearing Health Care network initiative, which since 2010 has united scientists from across the world in consolidating large data sets on sensory functions, especially hearing.

Collaboration between researchers, governments and non-government organisations instigated by Adrian has brought real benefits for people across the UK and around the world. His newborn hearing screening tests have led to real gains for hearing impaired children since he developed prize-winning evidence that has informed strategic development in the USA and Europe.

In the wider community, Adrian has led the development of standards for hearing screening, paediatric and adult audiology, and hearing aids services in collaboration with professional and governmental organisations including the British Society of Audiology, British Academy of Audiology, Royal College of Physicians and the Department of Health.

Adrian was also instrumental in the incorporation of a hearing assessment into Health Survey England, an important national household survey that has provided critical data on UK health at the population level. He has regularly contributed to public sector reports on sensory health such as those by the Chief Medical Officer and also to reports for the UK by The Lancet that have benchmarked the UK’s health against that of other European countries.

Although vision and hearing researchers have traditionally operated in isolation, Adrian’s determination to achieve benefits for those suffering sensory frailty has demonstrated a real integrity. Encouraging collaboration has formed a large part of his work, and his determination means research makes a difference every day in communities around the world.

Professor Davis is a role model for our researchers and students, and his experience highlight his integrity and collaborative spirit, with a strong sense of community responsibility.

We are delighted to embrace Adrian as a member of our ARU community.

Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Professor Adrian Davis OBE for the award of Doctor of Health Sciences, honoris causa.