School of History, Classics & Archaeology

History of Science, Medicine and Technology Research Group

The History of Science, Medicine and Technology Research Group (HSMT-Ed) is an interdisciplinary research group based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

Plant illustration from Wellcome Library, London
Japanese herbal, 17th century (Credit: Wellcome Library, London)

We bring together academics, doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science who share an interest in the history of medicine, science and technology from Antiquity to the present.

HSMT-Ed aims to provide a research forum where scholars can engage in discussion about theoretical and methodological debates in the field but also informally disseminate and discuss their own research, with the aim of creating research synergies and opportunities for further collaboration across the School, University of Edinburgh and beyond. In addition to interdisciplinary workshops and seminars, we hold regular brown-bag meetings, which provide an opportunity for members to present their own research or engage in critical reflection upon historiographical issues.

Research areas

We are particularly interested in facilitating exchange between academics across the humanities/science divide with the aim of opening up dialogue between these two often separate sectors of the University and fostering collaboration and exchange. Our work has been funded by the AHCR, Leverhulme Trust, and Wellcome Trust. A number of current projects by members of the group reflect this attention to cross-disciplinary collaboration:

We are also keen to support collaboration between Edinburgh academics and cultural institutions in Edinburgh and beyond broadly engaged in the fields of medicine, science and technology.


This research group organises a seminar series  about the history of science, medicine and technology.  You can find the programme for this year on the HSMT group seminar page.

We also have a seminar series in the history of medicine, in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is a prime example of this kind of successful collaboration. You can find the programme  on the seminar webpage. The University of Edinburgh co-ordinator for the History of Medicine seminar programme is Dr Gayle Davis.


HSMT-Ed combines Edinburgh’s remarkable history and unique resources with world-leading research in the fields of medicine, science and technology. Geographically, we span the globe from East to West, with a focus on Europe. Thematically, our members’ expertise includes: the history of sexuality and the body from the Middle Ages to modern times, the history of modern psychiatry both in the East and in the West, the history of epidemics and natural disasters and related emotional responses, the history of distributed cognition, the history and philosophy of biology, the history of public health and administration, veterans’ health during WWII, popular and learned healing practices from Anglo-Saxon times to the Renaissance, the history of astrology and astronomy, the Scientific Revolution, Newtonianism and the Enlightenment, British 18th-  and 19th-century medical professions, collecting and life writing, and late Antique and early Byzantine engineering. Our wide range of specialisms is unique in Scotland and provides the basis for lively and mutually beneficial exchange within and beyond the academy.



  • Zubin Mistry (School of History, Classics and Archaeology)

Staff members (School of History, Classics and Archaeology)

Staff members (School of Social and Political Science)

Staff members (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science)

Honorary and emeritus

PhD Students

We also have PhD student members from History, Classics and Archaeology:

  • Axelle Champion -'Child and Adolescent psychiatry in France and Scotland, c.1870-1914’
  • Jane O'Neill - 'Youth, Sexuality and Courtship in Scotland, 1945-80'
  • Barbara Haward - 'Telegrapher's cramp: the first modern office disease’.
  • Michal Adam Palacz - 'The Polish School of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh (1941-1949): A case study in the transnational history of Polish wartime migration to Great Britain.’
  • Martha McGill - 'Ghosts in Enlightenment Scotland'
  • Georgina Rannard - 'Empire and Useful Knowledge: Map-Making in the British Atlantic World, 1660-1720'.
  • Indigo Reeve - 'Morbidity and mortality of the medieval and post-medieval populations of London and Scotland in relation to their environment.'