Medicine and Science

Medical history research in History is organised through the Centre for Medical History. This brings together colleagues in the disciplines of History, English, Sociology, Psychology, Classics, Complementary Health, Centre for Genomics in Society (EGENIS), University of Exeter Medical School, and the European Centre for Environment and Human Health. We have built close links with medical and health care professionals in the region, including the NHS Trusts and General Practices. In addition there are several medical and specialist care institutions around Exeter with rich collections of records stretching back for the past two centuries, providing many opportunities for research in the locality. We share our work with a variety of audiences in a number of ways, including:

  • Interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, workshops and seminars
  • Collaborative projects with external organisations, eg, Met Office, Devon Record Office
  • Widening participation activities with schools

The Centre for Medical History was successful in securing Wellcome Trust Strategic Award funding for the period 2003-13. The second five-year project (Environments, expertise and experience: The transmission and boundaries of medical knowledge and practice) started in October 2008 and encompasses research under three main headings:

  • Environments, bodies and boundaries
  • Sexual knowledge, sexual experiences and health
  • The transmission and boundaries of medical knowledge and practice

We also have a Wellcome Trust programme grant for ‘The History of Stress’, and further Wellcome funding for other projects including: ‘Sexual Knowledge, Sexual History’, ‘Health and Masculinity in Post-War Britain’, ‘Mental Illness and Returning Patient Health Care in the Early NHS’, ‘Rewriting the System of Nature: Linnaeus’, ‘Healthcare and Wellbeing: Ancient Paradigms and Modern Debates’ and (most recently) a Senior Investigator Award for a 5-year project on ‘The Medical World of Early Modern England, Wales and Ireland c1500-1715’. Further details of all these can be found on the Centre’s website.

Academic staff

Research fellows