Epidemiology has historically been a niche field in the medical sciences, often side-lined by laboratory scientists and clinicians as a weak and inferior science. However, over the twentieth century, the field and its experts have gained unprecedented authority and influence. Epidemiologists have won the trust of policy makers and the general public to define public health crises, such as infectious diseases, chronic conditions and 'unhealthy' lifestyles. We seek to understand how epidemiologists have built their arguments, how they define epidemics and what makes this kind of reasoning unique. My role in the project is to consider how epidemiologists collected scattered information from different sources into coherent and comparable datasets which could offer insight into patterns of disease.
My background lies in the medical and economic history of contemporary Africa, but my interests have grown to include interests in medical anthropology, medical epistemology, Science and Technology Studies, demography, and epidemiology.
I was trained at the University of Leeds, where my PhD focussed the history of nutrition and nutritional medicine in Ghana since the end of the nineteenth century. A monograph derived from this project is forthcoming. Some of my other work on the history of nutrition can be found here.