History of Obstetric Ultrasound

Obstetric ultrasound was a Glaswegian invention. The objective of the research programme is to understand how it was developed and what were its impacts, social as well as clinical.

The medicalisation of pregnancy is an important and controversial aspect of modern health care. The more we understand about its development and character, the better we are placed to achieve a satisfactory balance between clinical priorities and other maternal needs. 

Ultrasound image of a babyResearchers

  • Prof Malcolm A Nicolson
  • John Fleming


The project has produced several publications, the most important being: 

Malcolm Nicolson and John Fleming, Imaging and Imagining the Fetus: the development of obstetric ultrasound Johns Hopkins University Press, (2013)


Not currently grant funded, but research originally funded by the Wellcome Trust.


More than a decade.