My research interests range broadly across 19th and 20th Century American and British history. In particular, my work has focused on occupational and environmental health, women’s health and public health as well as the history of the textile industries. Specific research topics have included occupational and environmental health in the British and American textile industries; gender and occupational health; the Church of Scotland as a provider of health and welfare; the health and healthcare of unmarried mothers; and the Queen’s Nurses. I am also working with the Yunus Centre on the history of social enterprise as a public health intervention and am a co-investigator on the MRC/ESRC Funded project evidencing social enterprise as a public health and wellbeing intervention.
I am currently working on a monograph examining when the working environment became important, using the textile industries of America and Britain as a case study. These were the industries when the issues of contagious diseases and occupational ill health intersected and were contested. The book is provisionally entitled: When air became important: A social history of the working environment in New England and Lancashire, c. 1860-1939. I am also completing a report on Mother and Baby Homes in Scotland during the 20th Century. I have been fortunate in that my recent research has received funding from the Wellcome Trust, ESRC, QNIS, while earlier research received funding from various small funders in Britain and America.