Edinburgh Research Explorer

Andrew Gardiner

Senior Lecturer

Andrew Gardiner: History of vets


In this video Andrew describes how his research focuses on human-animal relations in veterinary medicine, the development of the veterinary profession and animal welfare organisations, and veterinary education.

My inter-disciplinary interests began whilst working as a vet in practice and were based around questions of veterinary ethics and the development of the profession. A Wellcome Trust Award enabled me to study for a PhD in History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester in a large, multi-disciplinary department within the Faculty of Life Sciences (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine).

My research focuses on human-animal relations in science and veterinary medicine, the history and development of the British veterinary profession, the history of animal welfare organisations, veterinary ethics and veterinary education. The work complements the veterinary teaching I undertake in my role as senior veterinary clinical lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, where I teach anatomy, dental surgery, veterinary ethics, extramural studies and ‘community animal health and welfare’.

My most recent long paper is a revisionist account of the development of British veterinary medicine in the first half of the twentieth century. In it, I examine issues of socioeconomic class, gender, ethics and species focus within veterinary education and practice, against the background of a profession moving away from its historical roots in equine medicine. A follow-on paper is in preparation, which extends the story into 1950s Britain and beyond.