Dr Elizabeth Toon BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Science Communication

Full contact details
View graph of relations


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.

Currently I am programme director for CHSTM's MSc Science and Health Communication programme. I teach several modules on that programme, such as Introduction to Science Communication and the options module Health Communication, as well as supervising many mentored projects and research dissertations for our SHC students. I also teach on and contribute to CHSTM's other UG and PGT teaching, including leading a postgrad module Risk: Science, Society, and Culture.  I contribute to teaching elsewhere in the University, having contributed lectures and seminar sessions in SALC and SHS offering and I also frequently serve as a PBL tutor and a TPPD tutor for the MBChB Y1 and Y2. Finally, I am joint supervisor for several excellent PGR projects here in CHSTM and in Nursing.

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.  One ongoing focus has been the history of women's cancer prevention, treatment, and experience, but I also have participated in a number of research projects related to the history and social studies of STM. Most recently I co-authored papers on the history of arthritis treatment with Prof. Michael Worboys. I have also been involved in digital humanities projects as well as with medical humanities teaching and projects.  Previously, I also acted as chair for the steering committee of the Medical Humanities Laboratory, a Manchester-wide network of practitioners, scholars and teachers interested in the medical humanities, broadly construed.

Research Networks and Beacons

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

View all (18)