Scorpions and Raffles - A Historical Perspective on Social Responsibility for Public Health

Professor Sally Sheard
Tuesday, 7 December 2021 - 7:00pm


IMPORTANT UPDATE 01/12/21: Due to concerns regarding the new COVID variant, the speaker has requested that this event now takes place online only. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have already booked an 'in venue' ticket, we will contact you directly about changing your booking.


COVID-19 has opened up significant debates on public health, and the tolerance of society for interventions.  This lecture takes a historical perspective, looking back to some of the key battlegrounds in nineteenth century cities between the public and the ‘state’, and reflecting on how changing patterns of ill-health have stimulated a fundamental resetting of our expectations on where the boundary lies between individual and societal responsibilities.  Professor Sally Sheard is ideally placed to address the society on these issues, and this is a debate which could not be more topical.  She works with local health authorities and government organisations providing historical context for contemporary health policy issues.  She has written for and appeared in television and radio programmes, including Health Before the NHS, A House Through Time, Who Do You Think You Are?, How the Victorians Built Britain, and Woman’s Hour.  In 2018, to mark the seventieth anniversary of the NHS, she was commissioned to write and present the twenty part BBC Radio 4 series, National Health Stories.


About the speaker

Sally Sheard is a health policy analyst and historian, and Head of the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems at the University of Liverpool.  She also holds the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Chair of Modern History.  Her primary research interest is in the interface between expert advisers and policymakers. As a Wellcome Senior Investigator she leads a seven-year project; The Governance of Health: Medical, Economic and Managerial Expertise in Britain since 1948. Her latest book is The Passionate Economist: how Brian Abel-Smith shaped global health and social welfare (Policy Press, 2013).  She has also written on the history of hospitals, the finance of British medicine, the development of the NHS and the medical civil service including the role of the Chief Medical Officer. Sally has extensive experience of using history in public and policy engagement and has worked with local health authorities and government organisations.  She also has written for and presented television and radio programmes, including the 2018 BBC Radio 4 series National Health Stories

Event image: Covid in Schools image from Getty Images — courtesy of Professor Sally Sheard



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