Photo of Professor Mark Jackson

Professor Mark Jackson

BSc, MB BS, PhD

Professor

3003

01392 723003

I am currently Professor of the History of Medicine and Research Theme  Leader for Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter.

After qualifying in immunology in 1982 and medicine in 1985, I pursued research on the social history of infanticide and the history of `feeble-mindedness' at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester. More recently, I have been researching and writing on the history of allergic diseases, such as asthma, hayfever and eczema, in the modern world, and on the history of stress. My publications include New-Born Child Murder: Women, Illegitimacy and the Courts in Eighteenth-Century England (1996), The Borderland of Imbecility: Medicine, Society and the Fabrication of the Feeble Mind in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain (2000), Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady (2006), Asthma: The Biography (2009), Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Ed., 2011), The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (2013), The History of Medicine: A Beginners Guide (2014, shortlisted for the Dingle Prize), and Stress in Post-War Britain, 1945 - 85 (2015) as well numerous edited volumes, book chapters and journal articles.  

I have a strong interest in developing and expanding the undergraduate medical curriculum and in creating opportunities for wider public engagement activities in radio, television, newspapers and schools.  I am currently Senor Academic Adviser (Medical Humanities) at the Wellcome Trust and have served as Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Funding Committee, (2003-8), and the Trust's Research Resources Funding Committee (2008-13). I am a member of the History sub-panel for REF 2014.  I have recently been appointed to the WHO European Advisory Committee on Health Research and Chair the WHO Euro Expert Group on the Cultural Contexts of Health. 

 

Research interests

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS/INTERESTS
1. `Lifestyle, health and disease: the history of the concept of balance in modern medicine' (Wellcome Turst funded project), focusing in particular on theories of neurological balance, debates about work-life balance, and concerns about the balance of nature. 
2. The history of stress, health and disease.
3. The relationship between culture, environment and health, in collaboration with colleagues within the medical school and with WHO Euro.
4. The history of allergy and asthma in the twentieth century.
5. Social history of mental deficiency/learning difficulties.
6. Legal medicine and infanticide in early modern England. 

 

 

Research supervision

I supervise projects in the following areas:

1. The history of lifestyle, health and disease.
2. History of stress.
3. History of allergy
4. History of mental health
5. History of infanticide 

Research students

Current students:

1.  Fred Cooper 'The history of worklife balance' Wellcome Trust funded, (2013- ) 
2.  Kayleigh Nias 'The history of physiotherapy' AHRC funded (2012 - )
3.  Carolyn Pooley 'Voluntary youth action in the 1960's (2012 -  )
4.  Natasha Feiner 'Fatique and Adulthood after the Second World War' Wellcome Trust Funded (2014 - ) 
5. Nicos Kefalas 'Superfoods, Supplements and Masculinity in the late twentieth century' (2014 - )
6. Meg Kanazawa 'AIDS in India' funded by the College of Humanities, University of Exeter (2015 - ), joint PHD Dr Robert Peckham (Hong Kong University).
7. Dr Henry Guly 'Medicine in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration 1895 - 1922 (2014 - )
8. Nick Binney ' History of Cardiac Failure' (2013 - )
9. Cansu Agoren ' Melancholy since Antiquity' (2013 - )  

Past postgraduate students include:
1. Cath Quinn, `The history of puerperal insanity', (1999-2004), ESRC funded studentship.
2. Sarah Hayes, 'The medicalisation of maladjustment' (2005-2009) Wellcome Trust funded studentship.
3. Ali Haggett, 'Women's health and the domestic environment'  (2005-2009) Wellcome Trust funded studentship.
4. Pamela Richardson, part-time PhD, `Quaker Businesses and the West Country, 1848-1948', (2000- 2007).
5. Barbara Douglas, part-time PhD, `The history of Digby asylum', (2002-2008).
6. Richard Hankins, `Immunity to parasites: a history of professional interaction in twentieth-century biomedical sciences', (1995-1998) Wellcome Trust funded.
7. Leah Songhurst part-time PhD, 'The medicalisation of happiness: St John's Wort' (2004-2010).
8. Dr John Ford full-time MD, 'John Gorham', (2003-2009).
9. Matthew Smith 'The history of the Feingold Diet' (2006-2009) Wellcome Trust funded studentship.

External impact and engagement

In addition to my scholarly output over recent years, I have also been committed to broader public dissemination of my research and the Centre's activities, partly through my membership of the Wellcome Trust's Public Engagement Strategy Group but also through close contact with local and national media and through activities with local schools, such as Colyton Grammar School. Both my own work and research within the Centre have generated increasing media coverage, in local national newspapers (such as the Express and Echo and the Times Higher Education Supplement). In particular, I have contributed substantially to a number of radio and television programmes on disability, infanticide, and allergy.

Public engagement and outreach activties include:

• BBC Radio 4 programmes on the history of disabilities, `From Rags to Rights', 2000

• Advisor, Channel 4 programme on the London Foundling Hospital, for a series on the eighteenth century, 2002

• Advisor to NPR American radio company for a series on the history of air pollution and the London smog of 1952, 2002

• `On the air', BBC Radio 3, 13 June 2004

• `The Long View', BBC Radio 4, 7 September 2004

• `Law in action’, BBC Radio 4, July 2005

• Live interview on Radio Foyle, on the history of allergy, 4 May 2006

• Live interview on Radio Foyle, on the history of allergy, 31 July 2006

• Interview for an article by Heidi Dawley, `Know us by the allergies that afflict us’, Media Life Magazine, 14 August 2006

• Interview for BBC News online article by Brendan O’Neill, `All the fashion’, 31 July 2006

• Interview for an article by Danylo Hawaleshka, `The allergy epidemic’, Macleans, 5 June 2006

• Interview for an article by Drake Bennett, `Our allergies, our selves’, Boston Globe, 14 May 2006

• Live interview on Radio Devon, on the history of food allergy, 23 March 2007

• Regular teaching to GCSE (history of medicine) and A-level students (research skills and history) at Colyton Grammar School, Devon

• Interview for BBC 4 Today programme, on allergy, 21 April 2008

• Live panel contribution to Simon Mayo Show, Radio Five Live, 13 May 2008

• Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, `Writers and remedies: Proust and his illnesses’, discussion with D J Taylor, Alison Finch and Peter Guttridge

• Advice to Asthma UK in the preparation of a timeline of asthma, available at http://www.asthma.org.uk/how_we_help/research/making_progress/asthma_timeline.html

• Consultant, Minnow Films, for a documentary on Royal Earlswood Asylum and the history of learning difficulties, due to be filmed in September 2011

• Interview with Anna Hodgekiss, Daily Mail, for an article on health trends since the 1950s

• Interview with Joanne Lacey, MEAT, on modern allergies, August 2011

• Collaboration with Angela Rumble, dentist and artist, relating to images of people with learning difficulties and the history of feeble-mindedness for an art exhibition in Faversham, November 2011

ESRC Festval of Social Science event, Colyton Grammar School, debate on asthma and pollution, November 2012

 

Contribution to discipline

My external national and international contributions to the discipline include:

  • Member of History Sub-Panel, REF 2014
  • Senior Academic Adviser (Medical Humanities) at the Wellcome Trust, 2013-
  • Chair of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources Funding Committee, 2008-2013
  • Invited keynote lectures in Washington, Exeter, Zurich, London, Birmingham and Edinburgh
  • Specialist Advisor to RAE 2008 UOAs 62 (History) and 60 (Philosophy)
  • Chair of the Welcome Trust Medical Humanities Strategic Award Funding Committee, July 2008 and April 2009
  • Chair of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources in Medical History Funding Committee, 2008- 
  • Member of the international Search Committee for the position of Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, 2008
  • Member of the College of Reviewers, Canada Research Chairs Program, 2008- 
  • Chair of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources in Medical History Funding Committee, 2008- (Member from 2003)
  • Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Funding Committee, 2003-8 (Member from 2000-3)
  • Chair of the Wellcome Trust panel reviewing the UCL Centre for the History of Medicine, April 2005
  • Member of the Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Strategy Group, 2002-8
  • Member of the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Strategy Group, 2004-8
  • Accreditation panel member, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, 2005-
  • Reviews Editor, Social History of Medicine, 1997-2001
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Medical Humanities, 2001-
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2004-
  • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Medical Biography, 2007-12
  • Editor, Arts and Humanities section of Medical Education, (2002-3)
  • Member of the Programme Committee of the Wellcome Trust Centre History of Twentieth-Century Medicine Group, 2001-9
  • Chairman of the National History in Medical Education Working Party, 2000-6
  • Council member of the Devon and Exeter Medical Society, 2002-
  • Lecturer, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, Peninsula Medical School, 2002-

Media

I have contributed substantially to a number of radio and television programmes and newspaper and journal articles on disability, infanticide, allergy and stress, including:

• Live interview on Radio Devon, on the history of food allergy, 23 March 2007

• Interview for BBC 4 Today programme, on allergy, 21 April 2008

• Live panel contribution to Simon Mayo Show, Radio Five Live, 13 May 2008

• Consultant, Minnow Films, for a documentary on Royal Earlswood Asylum and the history of learning difficulties, due to be filmed in September 2011

• Interview with Anna Hodgekiss, Daily Mail, for an article on health trends since the 1950s, 2010

• Interview with Joanne Lacey, MEAT, on modern allergies, August 2011

• Popular online magazine article, `When asthma kills’, Zócalo Public Square, (1 March 2012), available at http://zocalopublicsquare.org/thepublicsquare/2012/02/29/when-asthma-kills/read/nexus/

Teaching

In recent years, I have taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the history of medicine, including:

1. Undergraduate Special Subject: `Civilisation and disease: health, medicine and the environment, 1750-2000'.

2. Undergraduate Varieties of History course: `The Politics and Practice of Medicine in Modern Britain'.

3. Undergraduate Perspectives: `Health and medicine since antiquity’.

4. MA in the History of Medicine: `Health and Medicine in Modern Britain'.

I have aso been closely involved in developing innovative approaches to medical education, particularly through the inclusion of medical history in undergraduate curricula throughout the country. I have chaired a national action group on history in medical education, have taught special study modules and supervised projects, and organised seminars and conferences in collaboration with the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (now theUniersity of Exeter Medical School) and served as a member of the PCMD’s Medical Humanities, Ethics and Law Curriculum Theme Group. In addition, I have co-edited a special issue of Medical Education on the history of medical education with Sir Kenneth Calman, ex-Chief Medical Officer of Health. I have been particularly active in developing and directing an undergraduate intercalated BA in Medical History for medical students at the PCMD. The first two students completed the degree in 2007 (both achieving very good 2is), and I successfully applied to the Wellcome Trust for student bursaries (£4,000 each) to support those two students and two others over the next year (total £16,000). I have also supervised students from the PCMD who take independent study modules in the history of medicine.

 

Modules taught

Biography

I am currently Professor of the History of Medicine and Research Theme  Leader for Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter.

After qualifying in immunology in 1982 and medicine in 1985, I pursued research on the social history of infanticide and the history of `feeble-mindedness' at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester. More recently, I have been researching and writing on the history of allergic diseases, such as asthma, hayfever and eczema, in the modern world, and on the history of stress. My publications include New-Born Child Murder: Women, Illegitimacy and the Courts in Eighteenth-Century England (1996), The Borderland of Imbecility: Medicine, Society and the Fabrication of the Feeble Mind in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain (2000), Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady (2006), Asthma: The Biography (2009), Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Ed., 2011), and The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (2013), as well numerous edited volumes, book chapters and journal articles.

I have a strong interest in developing and expanding the undergraduate medical curriculum and in creating opportunities for wider public engagement activities in radio, television, newspapers and schools.  I am currently Senor Academic Adviser (Medical Humanities) at the Wellcome Trust and have served as Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Funding Committee, (2003-8), and the Trust's Research Resources Funding Committee (2008-13). I am a member of the History sub-panel for REF 2014.

Editorial and professional positions

Member of the History sub-panel for REF2014
Editorial board member for 
Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century (Pickering & Chatto)
Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Grants Panel, 2003-8 (Member from 2000-3).
Member of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources in Medical History Panel, 2008- (Member from 2003)
Chair of the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Strategic Award Funding Committee, 2008-9
Member of the Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Strategic Advisory Group, 2002-8
Member of the Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Strategy Group, 2004-
Specialist Advisor, Panels 60 and 62, RAE 2008
Member of College of Reviewers, Canada Research Chairs Program, 2008-
Member of the Peninsula Medical School Board
Accreditation panel member, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, 2005-
Reviews Editor, Social History of Medicine, 1997-2001.
Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Medical Humanities.
Editor, Arts and Humanities section of Medical Education, (2002-3)
External Examiner, Newcastle University, MA in medical history, 2011-
External Examiner, Open University, History of Medicine, 2008-
External examiner, UCL Intercalated BSc in the History of Medicine, 2002-6
External examiner, University of Birmingham, Intercalated B.Med.Sc.(History of Medicine), 2001-4
External examiner, University of Cardiff, MA in History, 2003-6
Member of the Programme Committee of the Wellcome Trust Centre History of Twentieth-Century Medicine Group, 2001-
Chairman of the National Action Group for the integration of medical history into the medical curriculum, 2000-