“Never hesitate to express what you feel, even when you’re in opposition to established ideas. Maybe you won’t be understood at first, but your isolation will be short-lived. For what is deeply true for one man is true for everyone." Auguste Rodin
I launched The Drake Foundation in 2014, a not-for-profit organisation committed to understanding and improving the health and welfare of contact sports players impacted by head injuries. We have connected leading neuroscience research with mainstream contact sports in the UK. The Drake Rugby Biomarker Study resulted in the landmark finding that 23% of 44 elite rugby players sampled had abnormal structural changes in their brains. More research is needed to establish whether those changes have longer-term clinical significance.
My roots are in scientific publishing. I was the Founder of Future Science Group which give the medical and scientific communities actionable insights by analysing the explosive pace of developments in research.
FSG’s Literary Unit, OfLostTime (www.oflosttime.com), is publishing a series of thematic books each with an expert overview of some of history’s greatest letters. Letters for the Ages: The Private and Personal Letters of Winston Churchill is copublished with Bloomsbury: https://youtu.be/w5isVJaLsKQ
I am a portrait artist in my spare time. These are oil portraits of people I admire and of some historic moments.
My team have also created, on behalf of the artist’s family, a central database of the works of the great sculptor Paul Troubetzkoy:
In 2015, I established The Drake Calleja Trust to help exceptional musicians from underprivileged backgrounds at the start of their careers. We now have over 1000 entries each year, and our scholars are among the most talented young musicians in the world. One scholar, Alim Beisembayev, won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2021.
YouTube clip of my interview with rugby legend Steve Thompson, who sadly suffers from early-onset dementia, for a BBC2 documentary.