Medicine, Health and Society Research

About us

Our work reflects the recent shift in emphasis from the history of medicine to a more interdisciplinary focus, involving research in Social Sciences and Life Sciences as well as within History, Philosophy, and Culture.

We are interested in medical experimentation, biomedical research and forensic medicine, public health and hygiene, welfare and governance, mental health and healing, as well as eugenics and biopolitics up to the present day. We also study ideas about race, sexuality, and gender in Europe, Britain and America.

Edward Jenner vaccinating a boy, by E.E. Hillemacher (1884)

Related courses

Research impact

Lazaretto: An account of the principal lazarettos in Europe, by John Howard (1789)

Our researchers have a wide geographical and chronological spread of expertise: from child welfare and epidemics in early modern England and Renaissance Italy to disease and illness in contemporary culture; from traditional healing to modern pharmaceuticals (including interactions between western and indigenous medicine in South Africa); from public health in 19th-century Britain to experiments in Nazi Germany; from western psychiatry to psychiatry in colonial and postcolonial Asia. Our outreach and public engagement activities ensure that our findings are disseminated widely.

Recent projects include a study of subjects’ narratives of medical experimentation between the 1940s and 2001, funded by a five year Wellcome Trust Programme Grant,  Disputed Bodies , launched in January 2012, and completed in 2017.



Name Role Email
Dr Tom Crook Reader in Modern British History
Professor Glen O'Hara Professor of Modern and Contemporary History
Dr Michal Palacz Post Doctoral Research Assistant
Dr Jane Stevens Crawshaw Deputy Head for Strategy and Development
Professor Marius Turda Professor in 20th Century Central and Eastern European Biomedicine
Professor Katherine Watson Professor of Criminal Justice History
Professor Paul Weindling Wellcome Trust Research Professor in the History of Medicine


Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Irish Poor Law Project

Professor Virginia Crossman ESRC From: January 2007
Until: March 2010

Image Credits

  1. Three perspectives of a head divided according to phrenological 'faculties', with key. (n.d.)
  2. Edward Jenner vaccinating a boy, by E.E. Hillemacher (1884)
  3. Lazaretto: An account of the principal lazarettos in Europe, by John Howard (1789)

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