Christopher Sirrs

Hi, I’m Dr Christopher Sirrs, a historian of medicine and health based at the University of Warwick, UK .

My interests as a historian are diverse, encompassing the history of global health, health systems, risk, and health and safety.

In 2020, I am beginning a new research project funded by the Wellcome Trust, examining the development of ideas, norms, values and practices around safety in the British NHS. The project will examine the history of safety in NHS general hospitals, from the perspective of both patients and staff.

My current research at the University of Warwick focuses on the emergence of anxieties around ‘fake’ drugs in global health. Previously, I worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where I worked on a project looking at the intellectual and policy history of ‘health systems’. My PhD, completed in 2016, focused on the development of the British system of health and safety regulation between 1961 and 2001.

I am husband to Amy Sirrs and father to Arthur, who is one year old. Originally from Leeds, I have lived in Kenilworth, Warwickshire since 2018.

Follow me on Twitter @chrissirrs, or message me at email[at]



Gorsky, M., & Sirrs C (Forthcoming 2019). "Universal Health Coverage as a Global Public Health Goal: the work of the International Labour Organisation, c.1925-2018". História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos.

Sirrs, Christopher (Forthcoming 2019). "The Health of Nations: International Health Accounting in Historical Perspective, 1925–2011". In: Axel Hüntelmann and Oliver Falk (eds), Accounting for Health: Calculative Practices and Administrative Techniques 1500–2000. Manchester University Press.

Sirrs, Christopher (2019). "Promoting Health Protection Worldwide: The International Labour Organisation and Health Systems Financing, 1952–2012". The International History Review, DOI: (Open access).

Gorsky, M., & Sirrs, C. (2019). "From 'Planning' to 'Systems Analysis': Health Services Strengthening at the World Health Organisation, 1952–1975". Dynamis, 39(1), 205-233 (open access).

Gorsky, M., & Sirrs, C. (2018). "The Rise and Fall of Universal Health Coverage as a Goal of International Health Politics, 1925–1952", American Journal of Public Health, 108(3), 334–342. View pre-print version here

Gorsky, M., & Sirrs, C. (2017). "World health by place: The politics of international health system metrics, 1924–c. 2010". Journal of Global History, 12(3), 361-385 (open access).

Sirrs, Christopher. Health and Safety in the British Regulatory State: The HSC, HSE and the Management of Occupational Risk. Ph.D. thesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2016 (open access).

Sirrs, Christopher. "Risk, Responsibility and Robens: The Transformation of the British System of Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, 1961–1974". In: Tom Crook and Mike Esbester (eds), Governing Risk in Modern Britain, 1800–2000, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. View accepted manuscript here

Sirrs, Christopher. "Accidents and Apathy: The Construction of the ‘Robens Philosophy’ of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation in Britain, 1961–1974", Social History of Medicine, 2016 (open access).