One focus of my research has been the lower orders of medical practitioner in early modern England, in particular the 'excluded middle', barbers and barber-surgeons and their status in civic society. I am currently taking this forward with a book-length project on the cultural functions of barbers, c. 1500-2000. I am also researching a third study on the mid-17th London citizen and proto-statistician John Graunt and his religious context.
My earliest work was on British public health in the 19th century, and in particular theories of epidemic and endemic infectious disease before the bacteriological revolution. I focused on the Benthamite sanitarians, William Farr of the Registrar General's department, and the early epidemiologists John Snow and William Budd, but with a view also to establishing the climate of received opinion against which these figures can be contrasted.