Professor Paul Weindling

Wellcome Trust Research Professor in the History of Medicine

School of Education, Humanities and Languages


Paul Weindling joined Oxford Brookes University in 1998 as Research Professor in the History of Medicine. From 1978 until 1998 he was at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford. Following graduation from the University of Oxford, he completed an MA and PhD at University College London.

He was from 1999-2004 a member of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft President’s Committee for the History of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft under National Socialism, and was on the Advisory Boards of the AHRC project on German-Jewish refugees, and on the history of the Robert Koch-Institute. He is currently on the advisory board of the project of the German Society for Psychiatry project on psychiatrists in Nazi Germany, and a member of the project on the history of the German Foundation for Memory, Responsibility and the Future. He has advised the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Swiss Research Council, and other national funding agencies. He is a Trustee of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA).

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

Postgraduate: Special Subject for the MA in Health, Medicine and Society: 

  • Ethics & Ideas: From the Hippocratic Oath to Informed Consent


History of eugenics; public health organizations; twentieth century disease patterns.

Professor Paul Weindling’s research covers evolution and society, public health, and human experimentation post-1800. He has especial interests in eugenics, human experiments, corporate philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation, and medical refugees. He has recently completed a biographical project on the remarkable life of psychiatrist John West Thompson.

Research in progress is as follows:

  1. Arising from research on Nazi medical war crimes and the origins of informed consent, he is trying to establish how many victims of Nazi human experiments there were, and who they were. The aim is to establish a comprehensive analysis for reference purposes.
  2. European Medical Refugees in Great Britain, 1930s to 50s. This research is based on a database of nearly 4800 medical refugees, as well as textual archives held in the Centre. The aim is to evaluate the place of the refugees in the overall context of the modernisation of British medicine. The records cover medical researchers, medical practitioners, dental surgeons, psychoanalysts, psychologists, nurses, and all other health-related occupations. Children are included who came as refugees to the UK.
  3. International Health in the Twentieth Century. This project examines the shift from international sanitary agreements to major organisations for international health. The Rockefeller Foundation played a key role in the interwar period, and raises controversies concerning imperialism and the social implications of professionalisation. A crucial issue is the extent that international organisations were expected to be subservient to governments or whether they could take autonomous initiatives.
  4. Eugenics as an International Movement. This study considers the origins of eugenics as an organised movement on an international basis. Particular attention is paid to the spread of eugenics societies and their membership, and to the support for eugenics of philanthropists and foundations.

Research grants and awards

Grants currently held

  • Principal Investigator for Wellcome Trust Programme Grant (with Viviane Quirke and Marius Turda for research project: 'Subjects' Narratives of Medical Research in Europe, ca. 1940-2001'. Period of award 1 January 2012 - 31 December 2016.

Recent grants

  • Principal Investigator (2009-14) for Wellcome Trust Strategic Award for research project: 'Health Care in Public and Private'. Period of award 1 October 2007 - 31 May 2014.
  • Research grant from 'The Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc' for a project: 'Victims of Nazi Medical Experiments'. Period of award 1 August 2011 - 31 March 2014.
  • AHRC Research Grant (with Marius Turda) for a project: 'Human Experiments Under National Socialism: Victims, Perpetrators and Post-War Trials'. Period of award: 1 October 2007 - 30 June 2011.
  • Wellcome Trust Pilot Project Grant for a study entitled: 'Refugee Nurses in Great Britain, 1933-1945'. Period of award 3 January 2010 - 31 December 2010.


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Pharmacological Procedures at Auschwitz Causing Amenorrhea, Miscarriages and Possible Infertility (led by University of Ottawa) (01/09/2018 - 31/08/2021), funded by: Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Education, Research and Documentation, funding amount received by Brookes: £19,298
  • Hirnforschung an Instituten der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Kontext nationalsozialistischer (01/07/2017 - 31/10/2024), funded by: Max Planck Institute, funding amount received by Brookes: £558,593


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Professional information


  • Organiser of an international symposium: 'Reassessing Nazi Human Experiments and Coerced Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Problems' 4 - 7 July 2013, at Wadham College, Oxford.