About Matt


Thanks for visiting my website.  I am Professor of Health History at the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare and an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker.  As a historian of medicine, I am particularly interested in controversial medical ideas and how debates about medical knowledge get resolved.  Trust me, it’s nowhere near as dull as it sounds.  Ultimately, much of what makes our lives happy or miserable boils down to whether we and our loved ones are healthy or ill, so it is important to understand what goes into our conceptions of health and disease.  I think the best way to do this is to look to history.

My current project is entitled ‘An Ounce of Prevention: A History of Social Psychiatry’, which has been funded by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship.  My other chief areas of interest has been the history of food allergy, which has recently resulted in Another Person’s Poison: A History of Food Allergy, and the history of hyperactivity or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), published in An Alternative History of Hyperactivity: Food Additives and the Feingold Diet  and Hyperactive: A History of ADHD.  I’ve been very fortunate to win the Parkland Institute Graduate Student Essay Prize, Roy Porter Prize, Cadogan Prize and Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Award for my essay writing and research.  I’m also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland and the Society for the Social History of Medicine, where I have served as Publicity Officer and Postgraduate Coordinator.  I also review books for History of Psychiatry and, with Cathy Coleborne, edit Mental Health in Historical Perspective, a new series from Palgrave.

If you can’t find enough to read in my website, perhaps take a look at my blog on Psychology Today: A Short History of Mental Health