Dr Andrew Seaton

Andrew Seaton is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in History. He is a historian of modern Britain, with particular interests in political history, social history, and the history of medicine and the environment. 

Before joining UCL in October 2023, Andrew was the Plumer Junior Research Fellow in History at St Anne's College, University of Oxford. He trained in both the UK and the USA, gaining a doctorate in History from New York University (NYU) in 2021.

Andrew's first book, Our NHS: A History of Britain's Best-Loved Institution (Yale University Press 2023) is an expansive history of a world-famous universal health care system. Through the perspectives of patients, medical practitioners, trade unions, overseas health experts, and assorted cultural figures, the book explains how the service became an integral part of British identity and why it survived the rise of neoliberalism. In doing so, the book calls attention to the endurance of social democracy in a nation where this form of politics is commonly depicted as vanquished by the late-twentieth century. Our NHS has received positive coverage in The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Lancet, and The Literary Review. 

As part of his Leverhulme Fellowship, Andrew is researching a second project in environmental history, provisionally titled The Ends of Coal: Living with British Carbon. This work is a wide-ranging history of the British coal industry in the twentieth century, exploring its legacies on human health, pollution, decolonisation, political economy, and environmentalism. 

Selected publications

Our NHS: A History of Britain's Best-Loved Institution (Yale University Press, 2023).

'The Gospel of Wealth and the National Health: The Rockefeller Foundation and Social Medicine in Britain's NHS, 1945-60', Bulletin of the History of Medicine 94, no. 1 (2020): 224-241

'Environmental History and New Directions in Modern British Historiography', Twentieth Century British History 30, no. 3 (2019): 447-456.

'Against the Sacred Cow': NHS Opposition and the Fellowship for Freedom in Medicine', Twentieth Century British History 26, no. 2 (2015): 424-449. 

Media appearances/public engagement

Andrew has discussed his research on BBC Radio 4's 'Start the Week', BBC Radio 5 Live, the HistoryExtra podcast, and The Majority Report. He has delivered large public lectures at Mansfield College, Oxford and Newcastle University, as well as smaller talks at bookstores, libraries, and literary festivals. 

As a first-generation university student from a low-income background, Andrew is an advocate of widening access to education, and has volunteered with programming to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue higher education.

You can read more about his work at andrew-seaton.com.