Gareth Millward: New Member of Research Staff
I completed my PhD at the Centre, so perhaps I’m not such a new face after all. But I was recently appointed in a new capacity as research fellow on Alex Mold’s Placing the Public in Public Health project. In it, we are investigating how the concept of “the public” was framed over the post-war period. My specific focus is on how vaccination policy reflected and shaped these concepts over time.
While the time period is familiar to me — my PhD focused on disability policy from the 1960s through to the 1990s — much of the historiography on “the public” is new. I am taking the opportunity therefore to familiarise myself with the philosophical, historical and medical literature on “the public” and “public health”. I’ve already received plenty of useful suggestions from Centre members, but, as ever, any and all pointers to key texts and sources are appreciated!
My preliminary research has thrown up all sorts of interesting incidents and various ways of attacking this project. The recent rise in the anti-vaccination movement on the internet; racial discrimination against Pakistanis following the smallpox outbreak of the early 1960s; trials on orphans in the 1950s; the pertussis scare of the 1970s; and the continuing search for an AIDS vaccine from the 1980s onwards. There are already plenty of questions about the ways in which populations and sub-populations were treated as “the public”, and how those publics reacted to vaccination policy and communicable disease. I’m going to be busy.
I’m looking forward to the next three years, and contributing more to the Centre. This new post gives me the opportunity to get more involved with teaching on the MSc course and to participate in organising conferences here in the School. A vaccination exhibition is planned for mid-2015 using material from Libraries and Archives as well as research from the Vaccination Centre.
If people want to contact me or find out more about the project, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, go to my website www.garethmillward.com, or visit the project website.