1st Edition

Pioneers in Public Health Lessons from History

Edited By Jill Stewart Copyright 2017
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    The public health movement involved numerous individuals who made the case for change and put new practices into place. However despite a growing interest in how we understand history to inform current evidence-based practice, there is no book focusing on our progressive pioneers in public health and environmental health.

    This book seeks to fill that gap. It examines carefully selected public and environmental health pioneers who made a real difference to the UK’s health, some with international influence. Many of these pioneers were criticised in their life-times, yet they had the strength of character to know what they were doing was fundamentally right and persevered, often against many odds. Including chapters on:

    • Thomas Fresh

    • John Snow

    • Duncan of Liverpool

    • Margaret McMillan

    • George Cadbury

    • Christopher Addison

    • Margery Spring Rice and others. 

    This book will help readers place pioneers in a wider context and to make more sense of their academic and practitioner work today; how evidence (and what was historically understood by it) underpins modern day practice; and how these visionary pioneers developed their ideas into practice, some not fully appreciated until after their own deaths. Pioneers in Public Health sets the tone for a renewed focus on research into evidence-based public and environmental health, which has become subject of growing international interest in recent years.

    Chapter 1 Introduction, Jill Stewart

    Chapter 2 Thomas Fresh: the First Environmental Health Practitioner, Norman Parkinson

    Chapter 3 Sir John Simon: A role model for public health practice? Alan Page

    Chapter 4 John Snow: a pioneer in epidemiology, Hugh Thomas

    Chapter 5 Sir Joseph Bazalgette: a man of persistence and vision, Alan Page

    Chapter 6 George Smith of Coalville (‘the Children’s Friend’): campaigner for factory and canal boats legislation, Susan Lammin

    Chapter 7 Duncan of Liverpool: The first Medical Officer of Health, Stephen Battersby

    Chapter 8 Margaret McMillan: advocate and practitioner of improvements in children’s health, Susan Lammin

    Chapter 9 George Cadbury and Corporate Social Responsibility: Working conditions, housing, education and food policy, Zena Lynch and Surindar Dhesi

    Chapter 10 Charles Booth’s Inquiry; Poverty, Poor Housing and Legacies for Environmental Health, Matthew Clough

    Chapter 11 Christopher Addison: health visionary, man of war, Parliamentarian and practical pioneer, William Hatchett

    Chapter 12 Margery Spring Rice: throwing light on hidden misery, Deirdre Mason

    Chapter 13 Berthold Lubtekin: 'Nothing is too good for ordinary people', Ellis Turner

    Chapter 14 Conclusions, Jill Stewart


    Jill Stewart worked as an Environmental Health Officer specialising in private sector housing for several years before becoming a lecturer in London universities teaching housing, public health, environmental health and social work at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, a Fellow of both the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health and the Royal Geographical Society and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

    '[a] timely and inspiring book' Environmental Health News

    "The authors of the 12 contributions to this readable book were asked to write about a pioneer for whom they had great regard, with an overall theme of examining how history informs current evidence-based policy. The result is an overdue focus on the important role environmental health plays in shaping modern themes in the UK and elsewhere, as well as giving insight into the profound effects on beliefs and actions that arise from the era, values and attitudes into which we are born … (Chadwick’s) well documented work is dealt with in Stewart’s excellent introduction, while the chapters cover lesser known pioneers... Even if you know about some or all of these pioneers, you will find new insights and fascinating facts about their lives and works. Stewart’s conclusion to these inspiring accounts is that the battles for public health resonates with our contemporary activities and that some supposedly ‘old fashioned’ views are more progressive, radical and forward thinking than those held by many who are in a position to do something about public health today’. This is a great book not only for students and new professionals but also for environmental health and public health practitioners. It will be invaluable for teaching. Stewart cites the historian Virginia Berridge’s observation that ‘history needs to be part of the process of evidence-based policy’. This book will convince you of this view and may help to develop the next generation of reformers and policy makers." Rosalind Stawell-Smith, RSPH Perspectives in Public Health