The Ends of Coal

Building on my training in the history of medicine and the environment, I am currently working on a new project – funded by the Leverhulme Trust – that spans these fields.

Image – Coal Mining Training at Ollerton, Nottinghamshire (1943), Creative Commons

I am researching a new book, currently titled The Ends of Coal. This project explores British coal’s impacts and legacies in the period after 1945. Rather than the ‘end’ of coal, I trace the lesser-known ‘ends’ of coal, interrogating its longer-term consequences for health and the landscape, the emergence of environmentalism, and decolonisation. The book incorporates the perspectives of workers, managers of public industries, scientists, economists, activists, and cultural figures like novelists to challenge our understanding of what happened to a resource that had previously enabled Britain to become the first industrial nation and command a global empire.