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Dr Martin Moore

Associate Research Fellow in Medical History


01392 723708

I am an historian of twentieth century British biomedicine, with a particular focus on the social, institutional and cultural histories of health services. My PhD, completed in 2014, examined the development of diabetes management strategies in Britain over the twentieth century. In particular, it analysed how the increasing bureaucratisation of patient surveillance produced a greater focus on managing professionals in diabetes care - a development, I argued, closely connected with neoliberal drives to ensure "quality" in the NHS. In my new role as an Associate Research Fellow, I will be working with Professor Mark Jackson and Dr Alison Haggett to investigate the manner in which class and gender norms have been embedded in the changing concepts and practices of "balance" in twentieth-century chronic disease care.

My general research interests are in the histories of:

  • Chronic diseases and their medical and political management.
  • Neoliberalism
  • Bureaucracy and managerialism in health care.
  • Post-war public health
  • The NHS (in particular, the history of general practice)
  • Measurement of quality care


Research interests

I am an Associate Research Fellow working with Professor Mark Jackson on his Wellcome Trust-funded Investigator Award "Lifestyle, health and disease: the history of the concept of balance in modern medicine". Specifically, I am interested in the manner in which concepts of bodily and patient balance structured chronic disease care in twentieth century Britain, and how they changed over time. I ask, for instance, how ideas and practices of balance were invested with assumptions about (and were adjusted in light of the structures built around) class, gender and ethnicity. Similarly, I look to examine how constructions of patienthood changed over the century (take, for instance, the (re)emergence of active, "whole persons" after the 1950s), and to explore how clinical teams involved with chronic disease management negotiated - and contributed to - such developments within an increasingly bureaucratised system of disease management.


In this work, I will look to build on research undertaken in my PhD, (completed in 2014), which examined the development of diabetes management strategies in twentieth century Britain. In my disseration, I argued that through a series of technological, political, institutional and epistemological changes, British diabetes management and prevention came to centre on the bureaucratic discipline of professional medical labour by the early 1990s. By the end of the century, that is, medical professionals and state bodies united in heralding systems of prescriptive patient records, care guidelines and clinical audits as the best means to both guarantee quality of medical care, and, by improving risk management, to improve national outcomes by extension. Despite these systems simultaneously being applied to other forms of medical practice, I concluded that the key characteristics of chronic diseases (as defined during the 1960s and 1970s) meant that chronic disease control formed a central testing ground for these new techniques of medical management.


I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2014, having also studied there for my undergraduate (2006-2009) and Master's (2009-2010) degrees in history and the history of medicine respectively. During my doctorate, I was fortunate enough to undertake an ESRC-funded internship within the Scottish Government (2012) and to work closely with the Industry and Parliamentary Trust as an author of their health memos (2011-2012). I joined the University of Exeter as an Associate Research Fellow shortly after finishing my PhD, and hope to build on these policy experiences within my latest project.