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 explores the intersection of public health policy, science communication and human-animal interactions during the BSE crisis in the United Kingdom.

Research questions:

  • How were the identities of BSE and vCJD constructed by scientists and how did this influence the establishment of the Phillips Inquiry?
  • How did lay expertise (livestock farmers) interact with scientific knowledge and practice, and were disease control methods contested?
  • What interactions between stakeholders (scientists, farmers, policy officials, food industry, consumer groups) can we recover from the activities of the Phillips Inquiry?
  • How did the findings of the Phillips Inquiry influence the formulation of policy?
  • How did the public perceive and respond to the emergence of a new disease and the human-animal interactions involved?

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
  • BA History