Isobel Newby

Isobel Newby


I returned to the University of Leeds as a PhD candidate in April 2020 having completed my MA here in 2018. I am currently undertaking an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with The National Archives. The project will explore the role and significance of veterinary expertise and integrated approaches to animal health in the responses of the British government to the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.

Research questions:

  • How did the agendas of veterinary and state institutions interact to shape government responses to the emergence of BSE? 
  • How and why did the Chief Veterinary Office and other sources of veterinary expertise inform developing government policy during the BSE crisis?   
  • How did the National Meat Hygiene Service interact with existing forms of environmental health control, and what were the consequences of this for meat safety?   
  • How and why did the relative influence of groups and individuals connected to BSE research change following the peak of the crisis?  
  • Amongst other competing interests, what was the role and significance of veterinary expertise in determining responses to and public perceptions of the BSE crisis in Britain? 

Research interests

  • history of medicine
  • 20th century science policy
  • history of human-animal relationships
  • history of science communication
  • the impact of war on health and medicine


  • MA History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds
  • BA History, University of Hull