It was with deepest regret that friends and colleagues in ESCOP, as well as in the wider field of phytotherapy, received the news that Peter Bradley passed away on September 15th, 2021. Peter was one of the founding fathers of ESCOP, the long-standing co-chair of ESCOP´s Scientific Committee, and the editor of all ESCOP monographs from the beginning until 2011.
Peter studied chemistry in Ontario, Canada, where he received his Master degree in carbohydrate chemistry. In parallel to his work in several companies all over the world in the field of OTC and health food products since the 1980’s, he engaged himself passionately in herbal medicines and phytotherapy from a strictly scientific point of view.
Peter started to realize his passion on a national level in the British Herbal Medicine Association. At the BHMA, he not only authored and produced the two volumes of the British Herbal Compendium, in 1992 and 2006, but also served as a board member for 40 years and as chairman from 2010 to 2013. He worked tirelessly for the application of the highest standards of science to herbal medicines so as to secure high-quality products for the public.
Due to his enthusiasm and vision he was able to liaise with stakeholders in other European countries in 1989 to integrate the BHMA as one of the founding associations in ESCOP, the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy. His excellent talent for scientific writing was an indispensable requirement for the success of the famous ESCOP monographs. In the Scientific Committee, which he co-chaired for many years, he not only elaborated numerous ESCOP monographs, but also acted as “editor in chief”. He performed the final editing of every single monograph from 1989 to 2011, when he finished his editorship after the work on the first on-line monograph “Black Cohosh”. Moreover, most of this tireless work was done before electronic databases or internet platforms were easily accessible and he had to manually gather all information in libraries. This way, Peter produced many of the most reputable reviews of medicinal plant chemistry, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. These will remain his lasting legacy, effectively recording his enormous impact on phytotherapy across Europe and beyond. In 2011 we had to accept that this distinguished scientist and warm-hearted friend was to retire from active duties at ESCOP. Nevertheless he continued as an observer of our work.
Peter was among the most dominant persons in establishing ESCOP´s high reputation as authority in the field of phytotherapy, not only in Europe but worldwide. Inspired by his enormous knowledge and his verve many enthusiasts around him enjoyed the joint voluntary work in ESCOP´s Scientific Committee. It was a great honour and pleasure to work with him.
Besides the professional work in the scientific committee, Peter’s personality and charm made him “star actor” at joint dinners in so many ESCOP meetings all over Europe and there are numerous exhilarating tales in the archives of adventures. He was universally recognised by all his colleagues and friends for his kind, warm, fun-loving personality, and renowned for his passion, good humour and generosity.
All of us who were fortunate enough to know Peter and to work with him, owe him the highest respect for so many years of continuous efforts dedi¬cated to the development and acceptance of phytotherapy. We will sorely miss this dear friend, his dedication and his charm and humour, but remember him as a fundamental and truly memorable part of ESCOP and its history.
With greatest respect and fondest memories,
The ESCOP Board and Scientific Committee members, 1/12/2021