Michael Baum has held Chairs of Surgery at Kings College London, the Institute of Cancer Research, and University College London. He has specialised in the research and treatment of breast cancer for 50 years, and was one of the pioneers of breast conserving surgery and most recently developed a new technique for delivering radiotherapy at the same time as the removal of the breast tumour. On retiring as a Professor of Surgery at University College London, he spent the rest of his career teaching and promoting the medical humanities, including fine art, literature, moral and scientific philosophy. In addition, he retrained as an artist at Hampstead School of Art and works with oils using both classic and impressionist techniques. He has published more than 500 scientific papers, several books on cancer and philosophy and two novels linked to his other interest in biblical archaeology.