Henry Marsh
Speaker Profile

Author of the best-selling 'Do No Harm' and leading British neurosurgeon.

Watch Henry talk about honesty in medicine here. 

Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St.George's in 1987. He has been the subject of two major documentary films: Your Life in their Hands (BBC 2003) which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal and The English Surgeon (2009) which won an Emmy. He was made a CBE by HM the Queen in 2010.

His first book Do No Harm (W & N, 2014) was met with critical acclaim and was a bestseller all over the world. 

Henry has supported and worked extensively with neurosurgeons in the former Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine, to modernise neurosurgery there along Western lines. He pioneered brain surgery under local anaesthetic allowing patients to converse with their surgeons whilst they operate, minimising the risk of damaging 'eloquent' parts of the brain.

What the audience can expect
Henry is a captivating storyteller and speaks candidly about success and failure and what it feels like to slice through the matter that creates thought, dreams and memories. His career as a neurosurgeon has taught him most about his own fallibility and self-deception. We all make mistakes but the consequences of a neurosurgeon’s mistakes can be so terrible that many surgeons develop all manner of defensive psychological strategies in order to continue working. Henry talks with searing honesty about the cemetery that all surgeons inevitably carry with them; and why he would prefer to be seen by his patients as a fallible human being, rather than a demigod or villain.

Teamwork, working under pressure, making life or death decisions, the addiction of risk. 

Henry presents in English


The event was a big success! Henry's speech was very impressive and gave us the possibility to enter another world - and to link topics like trust, mistakes and honesty with our everyday life. It was a great pleasure to get to know Henry, he has amazing stories to tell.

Andrea Disler, Baloise

Henry's talk made a great contribution towards creating what we felt was such a wonderful evening. We received a lot of lovely comments about his speech and I know there will be a lot of people, myself included, who will be keeping an eye out for where we may see him speaking again - it really was a fantastic session.

Sally Hayes, Roche

The event went very well, Henry's speech was highly appreciated by all the participants. Every speaker the next day referred to Henry's speech at some point which confirms the appreciation and relevance of the content.


I wanted to take the opportunity of thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining us at The Royal Marsden for what was our best lecture to date. You spoke with such candidness, and your words resonated with everyone in the audience. We all share your experiences of immense joy and grief throughout our careers, but it takes a truly remarkable individual to speak about it so eloquently and honestly, it really was a privilege. Thank you again, and we are incredibly grateful that you joined us for such a memorable evening.

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS FMedSci HonFREng

This was Sky’s most successful leadership event yet and it was brilliant you could join us to share your fascinating career journey and insight into performing under pressure. We have received hugely positive feedback on your session.

Debbie Klein, Sky

Further information
To find out what Henry Marsh could bring to your event or to make a booking, please contact Alice Saunders.