Phage Turners

Founded so that co-organisers Fran & Carolyn had a reason to read the non-fiction they kept buying but never getting round to reading; Phage Turners (pun credit: Carolyn) is a relaxed book club for the Draper Lab and friends. Loosely focused on public health topics, we read one book every 2-3 months then meet after work to discuss over pizza and drinks. One day we will get round to printing bookmarks with our logo, and Fran will finish a book in time for the meeting. 

We are currently reading:

Life in Her Hands: The Inspiring Story of a Pioneering Female Surgeon, by Averil Mansfield (2023)

Please get in touch by email ( and/or if you are based in the University or Oxford University Hospitals and are interested in joining us. 

Previous books:

(recommended read by general and unscientific consensus i.e. Fran picked her favourites)

The Ghost Map

Steven Johnson

Infectious Madness

Harriet Washington

House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox

William Foege

The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS

Elizabeth Pisani


Hans Rosling


Sam Quinones

The Butchering Art

Lindsey Fitzharris

Radium Girls

Kate Moore

I Contain Multitudes

Ken Albeck

Bad Blood

John Carreyrou

The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child

Robert W. Sears

Nine Pints 

Rose George

The Gendered Brain

Gina Rippon

The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Bill Bryson

The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills*

David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu


Heidi Larson

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Patrick Radden Keefe

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

Matthew P. Walker

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin: Patterns, Proteins and Peace: A Life in Science

Georgina Ferry

Deadly Companions: How microbes shaped our history

Dorothy H. Crawford
The Facemaker: One Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I  Lindsey Fitzharris
Written In Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind Sue Black
The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World Michael Marmot
Catch your breath: The Secret Life of a Sleepless Anaesthetist Ed Patrick
The Good Virus Tom Ireland




phage turners
























*Barney's favourite