Steve Gould

Stephen Gould OBE, BDS, FDS, DOrth RCS

No one, with the possible exception of George Northcroft, has contributed more to British orthodontics that Stephen Gould.


Stephen was born in Southampton on 27 April 1923 but educated in Wolverhampton where he lived until 1941 when he volunteered for the Army. He was commissioned in 1942 and served  in India and Burma.  Leaving the Army in 1948 he was persuaded to study dentistry at Guy’s Hospital Dental School, qualifying BDS and LDS RCS in 1955/6. After a short period in general dental practice, during which time he was also a part-time demonstrator in periodontology at Guys, he came under the influence of Jack Tulley and at the suggestion of Chris Stephenson decided to specialise in orthodontics. To this end he moved to the Royal Dental Hospital and obtained his Fellowship and Diploma in Orthodontics in 1960, after which he joined Clifford Ballard’s staff at the Eastman as a Senior Registrar. Three years later, in 1963, he was appointed Orthodontic Consultant at the Eastman with sessions at the Royal Free Hospital where he influenced many generations of orthodontic postgraduate students. In addition to orthodontics, Stephen developed an interest in temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction and established a specialist treatment clinic at the Eastman. Sadly he did not publish anything on this subject however a very important contribution was his work on intraoral pressures on the teeth published jointly with Professor Picton in 1975. Stephen Gould became a member of the Board of Governors at the Eastman and as Chairman of its Hospital Rebuilding Committee from 1980 until 1985 in which year he was awarded the OBE for services to dentistry


From 1969-1974 Stephen had been the highly effective Honorary Secretary of the BSSO, which gave him a great insight into the strengths and weakness of our then divided UK orthodontic specialty. He also played a major role in the organisation of the 3rd World Orthodontic Conference  held in London in 1973. He became  President of the BSSO (1976-1977), Chairman of the Consultant Orthodontists Group (1979-1981) and the second Chairman of Council of the reorganised BSSO  (1984-1987). It was during this last period of office that the Report of the Schanschieff Committee of Enquiry into Unnecessary Dental Treatment appeared (December 1986) and Stephen was key in setting up the Joint Committee to refute, on behalf of the four UK orthodontic societies, the many of the unfounded conclusions of that Report.


In 1975 Stephen submitted a far sighted discussion paper on the future of the BSSO and advocating unification to the BSSO Council. The paper was subsequently copied to all the other UK orthodontic societies. Little progress was made until the publication of the Schanschieff Report in 1986 which finally convinced all parties of the need to follow his advice and unify, and culminated in the first meeting of the unified British Orthodontic Society on 2nd October 1994. Stephen became the second BOS President in 1996.