Chair of the Science Museum Group Dame Mary Archer today pays tribute to the incomparable cancer awareness campaigner Dame Deborah James who has died at the age of 40.

Dame Deborah, who has raised millions for Cancer Research UK, played a key role in supporting the Cancer Revolution exhibition, which is open at the Science Museum following a successful run at the Science and Industry Museum.

She was a member of the exhibition’s advisory board and earlier this year the Science Museum Group awarded a fellowship to Dame Deborah ‘in recognition of her tireless work on social media, along with blogs and articles, which has spread positivity and awareness about cancer research, treatments and the experience of patients, and has highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and research to a wider audience.”

Speaking about the exhibition, Dame Deborah said: “Through this exhibition we can open up the conversation of cancer even more—throw down the veil, and educate a new generation to know that prevention is key, science is wonderful, and always to have hope.”

For a blog about the past and future of cancer care, she spoke about the advances in personalising treatments which had given her five more years: ‘I hope for my children that should they ever be in my situation, science will give them 30 years more at least. Patients need hope and personalised options. We need to know we aren’t a generalised statistic. Science and research provides the hope that we just might see a future we never thought possible. That hope allows us to walk forward, even in our darkest times.’ 

She recently donated her famous poo costume which will be put on display at the Science Museum in celebration of her life. Visitors can also currently see a film that features Deborah in the Cancer Revolution exhibition which explores hope for the future of living with cancer and cancer research. 

Chair of the Science Museum Group Dame Mary Archer said: “We’re all deeply saddened by the death of Dame Deborah James, who changed the way we talk about cancer, and our thoughts are with her family. 

“Deborah’s energy, her bravery and the frank way she discussed cancer has saved lives by raising awareness, raised millions of pounds for research into cancer and bridged the gap between clinical research and the public. 

“My colleagues across the Science Museum Group feel enormously proud to have worked with Deborah on the Cancer Revolution exhibition, currently open at the Science Museum. We want to celebrate Deborah’s dedication to helping us create a frank but hopeful exhibition by challenging our assumptions about what it is truly like to live with cancer and pushing us to represent the diverse experiences of cancer for patients.  

“We have lost our most distinctive Science Museum Group Fellow but we feel fortunate to be able to continue the work she cared so deeply about through an exhibition that encourages visitors to have conversations about cancer that they may never have been able to before.”

Dame Deborah James (Pictured) lost her battle with Bowel Cancer and died on 28 June 2022, News4Trafford sends our condolences to family and friends at this difficult time.