Professor Malcolm Nicolson - Director

Professor Malcolm Nicolson has research interests in the history of diagnostics, particularly physical examination and imaging, history of obstetrics, medical technology and  the history of Scottish medicine. He also publishes occasionally on the history of ecological science. His recent publications includeImaging and Imagining the Fetus: the development of obstetric ultrasound (with J. Fleming) Johns Hopkins University Press, (2013); Child Health in Scotland: A history of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children (with I. Hutchison and L. Weaver) Scottish History Press (2015); and Apprenticeship to Life-long Learning: Dental Education through the Centuries, (edited with D. McGowan) HNHRG (2015).  He is a member of the Hunterian Museum Academic Advisory Committee and the SAT Seminar Series and Networking Opportunities Working Group.


Professor Sam Cohn

Professor Sam Cohn is Professor of Medieval History, College of Arts.  Over the pass fifteen years he has specialized in the history of popular unrest in late medieval and early modern Europe and in the history of disease and medicine. His current project, funded by a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, on the emotional histories of epidemics and pandemics from Antiquity to Ebola brings these two interests together.  Professor Cohn is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh, an Honorary Fellow of the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  His many publications and other activities are detailed on his webpage:


Dr Sheila Dickson

Dr Sheila Dickson is Senior Lecturer in German, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, College of Arts.  Her research interests include the development of narratives of illness in the Enlightenment and Romantic periods in literary and medical texts.  She has recently developed a research interest in eighteenth-century German psychiatry.  She is co-editor of a digital critical edition of the influential German journal Magazine for Empirical Psychology, (1783-1793), which consists of medical case histories submitted by lay observers, doctors, patients and creative writers.


Professor Marguerite Dupree

Professor Marguerite Dupree leads a Leverhulme Trust-funded project ‘From Microbes to Matrons: infection control in British hospitals, c1870-1970, jointly with Professor Anne Marie Rafferty of King’s College London. The study focuses on operative and post-operative practices, based on medical and nursing textbooks and training materials, and on administrative and case records from four hospitals with which Joseph Lister or Florence Nightingale were associated, two in Scotland and two in London.  Professor Dupree is responsible for the Scottish half of the research and shares responsibility for the overall direction of the project with Professor Rafferty.  A PhD student, Susan Gardiner, is funded by the project and based in Glasgow at the CHM.  Her publications include Medical Lives in the Age of Surgical Revolution (with M. Anne Crowther) Cambridge U. P., 2007.


Dr Rosemary Elliot

Dr Rosemary Elliot, Senior Lecturer, Economic and Social History, comes to the history of medicine primarily through her work on smoking and health, which has looked at smoking among women in Britain (PhD research) and then expanded to explore smoking in post-war Germany (Wellcome funded university award, 2004 -2010). In addition to questions of gender and smoking, her research here has covered youth culture in relation to smoking; cigarette advertising; the relationship between official policy and tobacco industry lobbying; and the role of international culture, international scientific and medical developments and the influence of multinational tobacco companies in shaping the situation in Germany.

Dr Elliot also worked on the Wellcome-funded Scottish Way of Birth and Death project, and is now a Co-Investigator, with Professor Eleanor Gordon and Dr Annmarie Hughes, on the AHRC funded History of Working Class Marriage project (2012-2017). This project engages with, and challenges, discourses around the ‘traditional’ family, and explores the history of working-class courtship, marriage and marriage breakdown in Scotland in the period from the civil registration of marriages in 1855 to the introduction of no-fault divorce legislation in 1976.  Dr Elliot investigates the legal and administrative framework of marriage and the family in Scotland, and the experiences, health and well-being of children growing up in different family forms between 1855 and 1976.  She has been looking at prescriptive literature on parenting; popular understandings of childhood; fostering and adoption; and legal and policy issues around child neglect and abuse, including parental addiction. This latter issue has developed a focus on medical understandings of trauma in history and the impact on memory, related to the oral histories collected as part of the project. Dr Elliot has also researched debates around the protection of infant life in the early 20th century (bringing together understandings of spontaneous and induced pregnancy loss as well as illegitimacy and infant life in various contexts).


Dr Angus Ferguson

Dr Angus Ferguson is Lecturer in Economic and Social History and an Associate Academic of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing. His research examines the balance of public interests in protecting medical confidentiality and privacy whilst also promoting appropriate sharing and use of personal information for bona fide purposes. As well as analysing the evolution of regulatory frameworks for health information governance within the UK context, he is also interested in the globalisation of these issues. In addition to articles and book chapters he has published an original monograph on this topic: Should a Doctor Tell? The Evolution of Medical Confidentiality in Britain (Ashgate, 2013). Dr Ferguson is also involved in the development of national strategy in these areas, as a Tier 2 member of NHS Scotland’s Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care.


Dr Jeff Meek

Dr Jeff Meek, University Teacher, Economic and Social History, has published on the interactions between medicine and homosexuality in Scotland, the regulation of men and women’s sexuality in early twentieth-century Scotland, and the impact of World War One upon men, women and families. His research interests include the social and medical responses to HIV/AIDS in Scotland during the 1980s, sexual ‘risk’ in late twentieth century Scotland, and the influence of medical opinion upon sexual law reform.  His recent publications include Queer Voices in Post-War Scotland: Male Homosexuality, Religion and Society. (2015) Palgrave Macmillan.


Dr Cheryl McGeachan

Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Human Geography, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, is an historical geographer of twentieth-century psychiatry, with a particular interest in R.D. Laing. Her ongoing research interests concern historical and cultural geographies of mental ill-health and asylum spaces, history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, histories of science, life-writing and biography, and psychotherapeutic practices such as art therapy. Methodologically, she is interested in critically investigating the practices of the ‘archive’ and using visual methods to capture situated memories.


Dr Kenneth Mullen

Dr Kenneth Mullen, Mental Health and Wellbeing, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, works on the relation between spirituality and health with particular reference to India and Japan. He also has interests in the history of addiction.  Previously he has been in receipt of three grants from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation to give academic presentations in Japan.  Currently researching how techniques of mindfulness have been adapted and transposed from their original Buddhist context and applied in various forms of psychological therapy in the treatment of the addictions. And how similar approaches are now being introduced in India where such techniques are being modified to suit the cultural backgrounds of patients, with the emphasis often being towards techniques derived from yoga and the Hindu religious tradition.


Dr Benjamin Thomas White

Dr Benjamin Thomas White is lecturer in History (College of Arts) at the University of Glasgow. A Middle East historian by background, his research and teaching now focus on refugee history around the world in the twentieth century. His current research focuses in particular on the history of the refugee camp, and this is what has brought him to the Centre for the History of Medicine: refugee camps can be understood as a medical technology (designed to protect refugees and/or host communities from medical threats, notably epidemics) and as a ‘medicalizing’ technology (which reduces the complex political situations that cause population displacement to a medical problem that requires a technical, not a political, response). As of 2016-17, Dr White is supervising two doctoral researchers working on aspects of the medical history of the refugee camp.