• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media

  • 20 Citations
20072019
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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde and the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) in 2011, after completing a PhD and post-doctoral work at the University of Exeter's Centre for Medical History.  My research and teaching have focussed on three primary areas within the history of health and medicine: mental health and psychiatry; allergy and immunology; and food and nutrition. Thanks to generous funding from the Wellcome Trust, this research has resulted in three monographs: An Alternative History of Hyperactivity: Food Additives and the Feingold Diet (Rutgers University Press, 2011); Hyperactive: The Controversial History of ADHD (Reaktion, 2012); and Another Person's Poison: A History of Food Allergy (Columbia University Press, 2015), which was reviewed in the New York Times and recently given honourable mention in the Association of American Publishers' Prose Awards for 2016. 

I am working on two projects at present.  The first, funded by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship, is on the history of social psychiatry in the United States.  I investigate how American psychiatrists and social scientists viewed the connection between mental illness and social deprivation during the decades that followed the Second World War. This funding has contributed to the edited volume, Deinstitutionalisation and After: Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World, which I co-edited with Dr Despo Kritsotaki and Dr Vicky Long, and will be published in the Palgrave series I co-edit with Catharine Coleborne, Mental Health in Historical Perspective.  The three of us, along with Prof Oonagh Walsh are working on a second edited volume, Preventing Mental Illness: Past Present and Future for the same series.  I am also in the process of developing a monograph on the history of social psychiatry.

My second project, 'Out on the Pitch: Sexuality and Mental Health in Men's and Women's Sport, 1970-Present' is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award.  I hope to develop this project into a larger project on sport on mental health with historian Dr Ali Haggett, sociologist Dr Mark Doidge and Dr Daniel Callwood, who is the researcher for the Seed Award project.

I believe strongly that historical research can have a significant impact on public policy and decision making.  As such, I have tried to engage with the public as much as I can through broadcasting, public lecturing, blogging and speaking to health and education professionals.  My efforts in these areas were enhanced in 2012 when I was named an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker.  I have written for medical publications, such as The Lancet and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), presented my research to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and work closely with a range of medical and educational professionals.  Recently, my book Hyperactive was used by novelist William Sutcliffe as inspiration and research for his novel Concentr8 (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Currently, I serve as the  Vice-Dean of Research for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS).  Previously, I served as Co-Director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, the Director of Research for History and Deputy Head of the School of Humanities.  I edit book reviews for History of Psychiatry, have sat on Wellcome Trust funding panels and serve on the Peer Review College of the AHRC, for whom I am a Leadership Fellow.  I am also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland and a Fellow of the RSA and the Royal Historical Society.

Teaching Interests

I teach a range of undergraduate and postgraduate classes, focussing primarily on the history of medicine, but also North American history.  My specialist courses include Madness and Society from Ancient Times to the Present; The Price of Health: The UK, US and Canada since 1800; and Food and Health in the West in the Twentieth Century.  In addition, I have taught on Disease and Society, History of the USA, Historiography, Cultures of Empire, Glasgow: History, Culture and Identity and other classes.

I am happy to supervise a wide range of MSc and PhD projects in the history of health and medicine.  Currently I am primary supervisor or co-supervisor for the following PhD students:

Erin Lux (The Mad House or the Big House: Juvenile Delinquency in the Post-War Period)

Iain Ferguson (A Face to Die For: Acne, Accutane and the Quest for Perfect Skin. 1950s-present)

Rachel Meach (A Spoonful of Sugar: Dietary Advice and Diabetes in Britain and the United States, 1945-2015)

Stuart Bradwel (Doctor’s Orders’ – Type 1 Diabetes and the Consultative Relationship, 1970-present)

James Dougan (Deindustrialisation, Gender and Mental Health in Glasgow)

Research Interests

When do certain behavioural characteristics become a psychiatric disorder? How do we know what foods are healthy for us? Why have rates of food allergy and intolerance escalated in recent years? What are the root causes of mental illness?  My research involves analysing questions such as these from a historical perspective not only in the interest of charting our past, but also in the hopes of informing our future.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Exeter

Master of Arts, University of Alberta

Bachelor of Education, University of Alberta

Bachelor of Arts, University of Alberta

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • food allergy
  • social psychiatry
  • children

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Selected Projects 2011 2019

History
Mental Health
Mental Illness
Social Psychiatry
Psychiatry

DSM-5 and the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Smith, M.

6/07/148/07/14

Project: Knowledge Exchange (Conference / Seminar Hosting)

Selected Research Output 2007 2018

Remembering the west end: social science, mental health and the American urban environment, 1939-1968

Smith, M. & Ramsden, E. 10 Feb 2017 In : Urban History. 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
urban renewal
mental health
social science
community psychiatry
demolition
1 Citations

Hyperactive around the world? The history of ADHD in global perspective

Smith, M. 18 Jan 2017 In : Social History of Medicine. 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
History
Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
Politics
Masks
Open Access
File
Mental Illness
Mental Health
Individualism
Social Psychiatry
Psychiatry

'What if I smell your peanuts and die?' Communicating fact and fiction about peanut allergy

Smith, M. 6 Jul 2016 Food and Communication: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2015. McWilliams, M. (ed.). Totnes, p. 373-381 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Another Person's Poison: A History of Food Allergy

Smith, M. 15 May 2015 New York. 290 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Food Hypersensitivity
Poisons
Food
Hypersensitivity
History

Food allergy, mental illness and stress since 1945

Smith, M. Jun 2015 Stress in Postwar Britain, 1945-1980. Jackson , M. (ed.). Pickering & Chatto Publishers, (Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine; vol. 23)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Food Hypersensitivity
Allergy
Mental Illness
Food

An ounce of prevention

Smith, M. 1 Aug 2015 In : Lancet. 386, 9992, p. 424-425 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Mental Health
1960s

The art of medicine: another person’s poison

Smith, M. 6 Dec 2014 In : Lancet. 384, 9959, p. 2019-2020 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Poisons
Immunotherapy
Hypersensitivity
Medicine
Allergy

The first hyperactive children: the rise of ADHD in historical perspective

Smith, M. Oct 2014 In : Leidschrift. 29, 2, p. 35-49 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Impulsive Behavior

The hyperactive state: ADHD in its historical context

Smith, M. Sep 2014 (De)Medicalising Misery II. Speed, E., Moncrieff, J. & Rapley, M. (eds.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access
File
Historical Context
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
2 Citations

A pre-peanut history of food allergy

Smith, M. 1 Mar 2013 In : Food, Culture and Society. 16, 1, p. 125-143 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
allergy
food allergies
Food Hypersensitivity
prehistory
peanuts

Hyperactive: the Controversial History of ADHD

Smith, M. 1 Aug 2012 248 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
History
Politicians
Developmental Disorders
Causes

Hyperactivity and history: challenges to and opportunities for understanding

Smith, M. 7 Jun 2012 Disabled Children, Contested Caring 1850-1979 : Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine. Borsay, A. & Dale, P. (eds.). London: Pickering & Chatto Publishers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Hyperactivity
History

An Alternative History of Hyperactivity: Food Additives and the Feingold Diet

Smith, M. 31 May 2011 New Brunswick, NJ. 256 p. (Critical issues in health and medicine)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Food Additives
Diet
Parents
Physicians
Methylphenidate
1 Citations

Mixing with medics

Smith, M. Apr 2011 In : Social History of Medicine. 24, 1, p. 142-150 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Health
Research
Historian
Medical History

A place for hyperactivity: Sputnik, the cold war “brain race” and the origins of hyperactivity in the United States, 1957-1968

Smith, M. 2010 Locating Health. Dyck, E. & Fletcher, C. (eds.). Pickering & Chatto Publishers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Health
Hyperactivity
Cold War

The uses and abuses of the history of hyperactivity

Smith, M. 2010 (De)constructing ADHD: Critical guidance for teachers and teacher educators. Graham, L. (ed.). New York: Peter Lang AG, (Disability Studies in Education; vol. 9)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

ADHD
abuse
history
school
experience
11 Citations

Psychiatry limited: hyperactivity and the evolution of American psychiatry, 1957-1980

Smith, M. Dec 2008 In : Social History of Medicine. 21, 3, p. 541-559 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Psychiatry
Biological Psychiatry
Psychoanalysis
History
Community Psychiatry

Into the mouths of babes: hyperactivity, food additives and the reception of the Feingold diet

Smith, M. 13 Dec 2007 Health and the modern home. Jackson, M. (ed.). p. 304-321 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Physical
Diet
Hyperactivity
Reception
Food

Introduction

Smith, M., Long, V., Walsh, O. & Kritsotaki, D. 25 Jun 2018 (Accepted/In press) Preventing Mental Illness: Past, Present and Future. Kritsotaki, D., Long, V. & Smith, M. (eds.). London, 30 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Mental Health
mental illness
Child Guidance
mental hygiene
mental health

Introduction

Smith, M. & Gentilcore, D. 6 Jun 2017 (Accepted/In press) Proteins, Pathologies and Politics: Dietary Innovation and Disease. Gentilcore, D. & Smith, M. (eds.). London, 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

food
sales
market
trend
health

Allergic to innovation? Dietary change and debate about food allergy in the USA

Smith, M. 6 Jun 2018 (Accepted/In press) Proteins, Pathologies and Politics: Dietary Innovation and Disease Since the Nineteenth Century. Gentilcore, D. & Smith, M. (eds.). London, 32 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

allergy
Food Hypersensitivity
food
Diet
innovation

Datasets

Prizes

Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Career Development Award

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Roy Porter Prize Essay

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 2006

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Member, Young Academy of Scotland

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 1 Jun 2014

Prize: Appointment

AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Appointment

Pinkie Resilience Project

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 1 Mar 2015

Prize: To be assigned

Cadogan Essay Award

Matthew Smith (Recipient), 2007

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Selected Activities 2013 2015

History of Psychiatry (Journal)

Smith, M. (Editor)
2013 → …

Activity: Journal or guest editorship

External Examiner for University of Aberdeen Medical Humanities Programme

Smith, M. (External Examiner)
1 Sep 20141 Sep 2018

Activity: Examination

Palgrave McMillan (Publisher)

Smith, M. (Editor)
1 Feb 201531 Dec 2020

Activity: Journal or guest editorship

Impacts

Health History and the Curriculum for Excellence

James Mills (Participant), Emma Newlands (Participant), Arthur McIvor (Participant), Matthew Smith (Participant), Angela Turner (Participant), Patricia Barton (Participant), Ryan Johnson (Participant)

Impact: Impact - for External PortalCulture and creativity, Education