Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Birmingham (UK)
Website URL
modern medicine, modern science, physiology, genetics, sport, exploration, adventure, race, public health, gender, mountaineering, arctic, antarctic, public history, human experimentation, british, physical education, domestic education, Victorian, Edwardian
Additional Contact Information
time period 19th & 20th C.

Personal Info

About Me

Historian of modern medicine and biomedical sciences (c.1850-present), of sports medicine and physiology, exploration and extreme sports; on the science of race and gender (e.g. evolution, eugenics, sex testing); of public health in the Victorian period; Victorian women doctors & nurses; physical education and domestic education; generally of biomedical science in the Arctic and Antarctic; human experimentation; the study of human limits (heat, cold, altitude).


I mostly work on European and Anglophone materials, particularly on British history, but have some expertise in the high Himalaya, Andes, Arctic and Antarctic regions.


I have broad experience of working with print, digital and radio media, as well as other forms of public-facing history and outreach with museums, charitable organisations, etc.  For five years I co-authored a history of science & medicine blog for the Guardian.

Recent Publications

Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and Exploration (Chicago University Press, forthcoming 2019)

A History of British Sports Medicine (Manchester University Press, 2011)


(2017) “Subjective Sex: science, medicine and sex tests in sport” Anderson & Travers Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport (Routledge), 131-142

(2016) “Higher and Colder: Pushing boundaries in high altitude and Antarctic research stations” Social Studies of Science 46, 809-832

(2016) “Bodies, sport and science in the nineteenth century” Past & Present 231, 169-200

(2015) “Women Doctors and Lady Nurses: Class, Education and the Professionalized Victorian Woman” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 89, 267-2

(2013) “Experimental Physiology, Everest and Oxygen: from the Ghastly Kitchens to the Gasping Lung” British Journal of the History of Science 46, 123-147

(2012) “Volunteers for Science: Medicine, Health and the Modern Olympic Games” in Lo, V. (ed) Perfect Bodies, training for sport, medicine and immortality, British Museum

(2011) “Sport (and Exercise) Medicine in Britain; healthy citizens and abnormal athletes” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 28, 249-70.

(2011) “Domestic and domesticating education in the Victorian and Edwardian City” History of Education 40, 273-90.

(2011) “Health Visiting and District Nursing in Victorian Manchester; divergent and convergent vocations” Women’s History Review 20, 403-22

(2010) “Testing sex and gender in sports; reinventing, reimagining and reconstructing histories” Endeavour 34, 157-63.

(2010) “Specialisation without the hospital: the case of British sports medicine”, Medical History, 54, 457-74

(2010) “A Century of Cardiomythology: Exercise and the Heart c1880-1980” Social History of Medicine, 23, 280-98

(2008) “’Only the British Appear to be Making a Fuss’; the Science of Success and the Myth of Amateurism at the Mexico Olympiad, 1968” Sport In History 28, 213-35

(2008) “Lies, Damn Lies, and Manchester’s Recruiting Statistics: Degeneration as an “Urban Legend” in Victorian and Edwardian Britain” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 63, 178-216

(2005) “Jewish Medical Charity in Manchester: reforming alien bodies” Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library 87, 111-32

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Disability, Environment, Food History, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Medicine, Public History, Race, Science, Sports, Technology, Urban History, Women