Professor Annie Anderson and Professor Bob Steele are the co-directors of the SCPN and Chair and Board member (respectively) of the Scottish Cancer Foundation. As they are married, they share many personal interests, but in addition they work together on many professional activities.


I know that a brand new diary will arrive for me as part of my family Christmas bundle. Blank pages waiting to be filled of exciting travels, books read, meals tasted and family get togethers. Stuck in Scotland during 2020 we managed 3 long beach walks, one before lock down and two afterwards when travel became acceptable, meeting with friends at the right distance and yelling above the whistling wind. This year my diary awaits new walking discoveries, the beaches of Angus, Fife Coastal path and maybe even as far as the East Lothian coast. I won’t even need a compass (not that I could ever read one anyway!) but feeling a ray or two of sunshine, a few east coast flurries and even a handful of snowflakes will keep me inspired and who knows it might be west coast beaches in 2022.


The biggest event in my (and, I think Annie’s) life during the pandemic has nothing to do with work or politics.  It came on November 25th in the shape of an 8 week-old Springer Spaniel, now called Gracie.  We thought long and hard about this (especially having a Springer) because of the commitment a dog represents, but we thought that we will be home based for at least the next six months (good training opportunities) and as we are not getting any younger, if we didn’t do this now, we would never do it.  So now we have a 10 week-old bundle of energy that alternates between sleeping and bouncing around like a firecracker!  She is truly lovely, though – very affectionate and seems (so far) to be very responsive to training.  So, what will this hold for us going into the future?  We won’t be able to travel so much, but we will certainly have lots of exercise keeping up with Gracie.  It is a well-known fact that dog owners are healthier that non-dog owners, and this must be down to the stimulus that a dog provides for activity.  And when we think of the role of exercise in cancer prevention this is perhaps not surprising.  And lots of fun too!