Robert Darby (✝ April 2019) was an independent scholar and freelance writer from in Canberra, the capital of Australia. He began his writing and research career as a literary historian, with a PhD on Australian literature and politics in the 1930s, but his interests have broadened since then to include many topics in cultural, social and medical history, as well as ethics and current affairs. His major published work so far has been a detailed account of the rise and fall of routine "health" circumcision in Britain (A surgical temptation, 2005), and since then he has written widely on medical, historical and ethical aspects of both male and female circumcision - which he regard as primarily a human rights and social justice issue, not really a medical issue at all. He is also author of "The sorcerer's apprentice: Why can't the United States stop circumcising boys?"
He also prepared a collection of the medical writings of Arthur Conan Doyle, Round the Red Lamp (Valancourt Books, 2007), and an edited edition of Elements of Social Science by the great Victorian iconoclast George Drysdale. His most recent article was "The child's right to an open future: Is the principle applicable to non-therapeutic circumcision", published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, July 2013.
- A surgical temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin & the Rise of Circumcision in Britain, University of Chicago Press, 2005
- The sorcerer's apprentice: Why can't the United States stop circumcising boys?, Kindle, 2013