This book represents one output of a long academic project and as such I owe debts of many kinds. In the mid-1990s I was working on a research project looking at mobility, travel and health based in the Medical Research Council's Medical Sociology Unit at Glasgow University. Thanks are due first to the Medical Research Council for initially funding the research that made possible the foundations of this work.
The specific topic of this book, the changing relationship between bodies and sunlight, arose from a conversation with John Urry who observed that given the importance of sunlight in shaping the mobility of modern travellers, it was surprising that little sociological or historical research had been developed in this area. This led me to an initial foray into the archives of old medical journals within Glasgow University library.
Various aspects of this work have been presented at conferences and in seminars, and thanks go to all those who made comments or suggestions. Thanks also to Luc Berlivet, Hannah Bradby, Stephen Clift, George Davey Smith, Charlie Davison, Judy Green, Lesley Henderson, Kate Hunt, Kelly Loughlin, Mike Michael, Ornella Muscucci, Nicki Thorogood, Salim Vohra and John Walton who have all commented on previous aspects of this research and, at times, pointed me in new directions.
In addition invaluable help was provided by archivists and librarians at the Bodleian Library, the Wellcome Trust Library, the British Library and the First Garden City Heritage Museum. I was also aided by members of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
On a more personal level I would like to thank the following for their invaluable and varied types of support:Tony and Pauline Carter, Karen Clarke, George, Margaret and Lorna Henderson, Ursula Jenkinson, Mike Michael and Denise Goddard. I am very grateful for the support, encouragement and understanding from Lesley and Louis.
Cover picture by kind permission of: Olafur Eliasson The weather project 2003 Turbine Hall,Tate Modern, London (The Unilever Series) Mono-frequency light, reflective panel, hazer, mirrored foil, steel 2670 cm x 2230 cm x 15 4440 cm Photo: Jens Ziehe 2003 © Olafur Eliasson 2003