Citations and Speeches


169th Congregation (2004)

Arnold George Dominic MARAN
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

The Public Orator, Dr Elaine Yee-lin Ho, wrote and delivered the following citation:

Edinburgh University boasts one of the most distinguished faculties of medicine in the world. It has been training doctors and carrying out medical research for centuries. In the 1870s, one of its students was Arthur Conan Doyle. His observations of one of his Edinburgh professors, Dr Joseph Bell, inspired the creation of that great diagnostician, the detective, Sherlock Holmes. Today, we honour another Edinburgh medical man who is both a teacher and a model to others, Arnold Maran.

Arnold Maran graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MB ChB in 1959, and continued his surgical training in Edinburgh, passing the specialty fellowship examination in Otorhinolaryngology in 1963. Two years later, in recognition of his research in the field, the University of Edinburgh awarded him the degree of Doctor of Medicine with commendation, a signal achievement for someone so young. Arnold Maran then went to the United States for post-fellowship training, and in recognition of his achievements in Surgery, he was admitted as Fellow, the American College of Surgeons in 1975.

He returned to work at the University of Edinburgh where he rose steadily in his profession and was appointed the first Professor of Otolaryngology in 1988. He was President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh, Scottish Otolaryngological Society, and the Laryngology section of the Royal Society of Medicine, among many of the executive positions he has held. His election as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1997 shows the high esteem in which he is held by members of his profession; he is one of a very select few ENT surgeons to be elected to the Presidency.

Professor Maran's many awards include the Walter Jobson Home Prize of the British Medical Association, the Yearsley Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the professional Medal of Helsinki, the WJ Harrison Prize, the Semon Medal of the University of London and the Leon Goldman Medal of South Africa. Since 1969, he has been invited to visit, conduct research, and deliver lectures in over 20 universities in the United States, continental Europe, Africa and Asia.

He is a pioneer in the field of head and neck surgery, and co-author of the standard work on the subject which is currently in its 4th edition. His successes in Britain included the creation of inter-specialty groups for the designated training of head and neck surgeons, and the opening up of sub-specialty areas in ENT surgery.

Author of over 350 publications, Professor Maran's contribution to both clinical and basic research is widely recognized by specialists throughout the world, many of whom he had trained and who continue to benefit from their association with him and his work. The University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong community at large have benefited enormously from our association with Professor Maran since his first visit here in the nineteen sixties. He has been teacher and mentor to many consultant surgeons in ENT in the University and Hospital Authority. In the 1980s, Professor Maran twice visited Hong Kong to assess the teaching of Otorhinolaryngology as well as the future development of the specialty at the University. His expert advice on how to maintain standards in research and teaching was well-taken, and led to the establishment of a Chair in Otorhinolaryngology at HKU in 1985. In 1990, and as George Choa Visiting Professor in 1994, he came to HKU again to advise on the development of the subject at postgraduate level. He prepared senior surgeons at the University and in government service to become examiners for the specialty examination in Otorhinolaryngology. As a result of his efforts, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh began holding joint examinations with the then newly-found Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists in 1995.

Professor Maran has an aesthetic as well as a clinical interest in the traffic of throat and ear. He is an accomplished musician and a jazz enthusiast, and his passions for medicine and music come together in his recent book, The Singer, The Song, and The Surgeon.

Professor Maran's distinguished presence among us and his expert advice in the past twenty years have enabled the establishment of Otorhinolaryngology at the University and in Hong Kong, and propelled its research, teaching, and clinical work to heights of international renown. For his commitment and effort to helping Hong Kong develop the best quality service in Otorhinolaryngology, our University and our community owe him a great debt of gratitude. Mr Pro-Chancellor, I am privileged to present Arnold George Dominic Maran for the award of the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.