Dr Elizabeth Toon BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Science Communication

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I received my BA in History with honors from Northwestern University, Evanston IL, USA, as well as a certificate from the Science in Human Culture program.  My postgraduate degrees are from the University of Pennsylvania's History and Sociology of Science Department, where I earned an MA and a PhD.  After teaching at Penn and then at Cornell University, I moved to the UK, where I have taught and researched at the University of Manchester and University of Durham.

I research and write about a number of aspects of the history of medicine, public health, and health care, and am especially interested in the social and cultural dynamics that inform expert-lay relationships around medical knowledge.  My focus at present is on the history of women's cancer prevention, treatment, and experience.  I am also researching the history of arthritis treatment as part of a project with Prof. Michael Worboys.

In addition to these, I have been involved in digital humanities projects as well as with medical humanities teaching and projects.  For the past two years, I've been the chair of the steering committee of the Medical Humanities Laboratory, a Manchester-wide network of practitioners, scholars and teachers interested in the medical humanities, broadly construed.

Most of my current teaching is part of the MSc Science Communication programme through CHSTM, but I also teach on undergraduate and postgraduate CHSTM modules, supervise SBS and SMS undergraduate projects, and serve as a TPPD and PBL tutor for the School of Medical Sciences.  I am also CHSTM's lead for our new Science Communication International Summer School, first offered in summer 2018.

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • History of Medicine, History of Cancer, Cancer screening, Gender and health, Patient experience, Health and lifestyle, Public health

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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