University home |A-Z|

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Archived news for 2008


Group members at the Science Museum

5 December 2008
Reading group visit to Cold War exhibitions

At the end of November, members of the History of the Physical Sciences and Technology Reading Group paid a visit to London, to see the Cold War Modern exhibition at the V&A. The exhibition looks at the relationship between art and design and Cold War life between 1945 and 1970, with exhibits ranging from everyday textiles and urban architecture to utopian and dystopian visions of the nuclear future.

Whilst in South Kensington, the group called in on Dan Dare and the Birth of High-Tech Britain at the Science Museum. This display of technological artefacts from the postwar period also relates strongly to current research interests at CHSTM. Emily Hankin, who joined us as a PhD student in October, is working on an ESRC-funded CASE studentship in collaboration with the Science Museum, on the consumer experience of domestic electricity in the era of the National Grid.


11 November 2008
Congratulations to Tom Lean

Tom (centre) with his examiners, Jeff Hughes (second left) and Martin Campbell-Kelly (second right), and supervisors James Sumner (far left) and John Pickstone

Tom Lean, who came to CHSTM in 2005 on a collaborative ESRC studentship with the Museum of Science and Industry, had a successful viva on Thursday of last week, and is now due to receive his PhD at the December graduation ceremony. Tom's thesis, '"The making of the micro": producers, mediators, users and the development of popular microcomputing in Britain, 1980-1989', looks at a significant episode in Britain's recent cultural history, as millions of non-expert users began to interact with digital computing technology for the first time.

Tom has now moved on to work behind the scenes at the Manchester Histories Festival, a major local history event for March 2009 with which CHSTM is closely involved. Watch this space for further details...


17 October 2008
BSHS Postgraduate Conference 2009

Having served as the venue for the British Society for the History of Science's Annual Conference in 2007, CHSTM is delighted to be hosting the Society's forthcoming Postgraduate Conference. The meeting will take place on 7-9 January 2009. Further details are available by emailing


1 October 2008
Lunchtime seminar series

Our lunchtime seminar programme for October-December is now available.


22 September 2008
CHSTM seminar series, September-December 2008

Our main seminar programme for Semester One is now available. We have also updated the Mental Health Forum programme.


22 September 2008
CHSTM Newsletter: Autumn 2008

Our latest newsletter features news of new CHSTM research fellowships, visits to Rio, Berlin, Paris and LA, more on The Blue Planet Live!, a preview of the Manchester Histories Festival, a CHSTM student's secondment to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and views on science and the public from the bottom of an empty swimming pool...

20 August 2008
Undergraduate teaching: course unit guide and timetable, 2008-2009


23 July 2008
Veterinary Science and Empire workshop

In association with colleagues at the University of Auckland, we will be hosting a one-day workshop on Veterinary Science and Empire on Thursday 18 September. This meeting accompanies our workshop on the Health and Welfare of the Manufactured Animal the following day: joint registration for both events is available.


Some of the students' individual designs based on the life supported by coral reefs

8 July 2008
Schools outreach news

A group of 45 year 8 students from a Staffordshire school came to the University on June 27th to take part in a day of hands-on activities in the Manchester Museum and the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, organised by Emm Barnes. The students competed to see who could construct the best model iguanodon leg from wire mesh and plaster of Paris.

On 1 July, Emm Barnes visited a Manchester primary school to lead a workshop on marine mosaics with a class of Year 4 students, as part of their science lessons on habitats. The students had such a good time learning about coral reefs, and the history and practise of mosaic construction, that they have started work on a wall display based on sea life for their school's new reception area.


13 June 2008
ESRC CASE studentship: Buying Modernity? The Consumer Experience of Domestic Electricity in the Era of the Grid

Applications are invited for this 1+3 (MSc + PhD) or +3 ESRC studentship, in collaboration with the National Museum of Science and Industry, London, starting September 2008. The project will explore the uptake of, and resistance to, new domestic technologies in Britain from the 1920s to the 1960s, especially among female consumers. Drawing on archives, oral history and the Science Museum's extensive collections, the research will inform the planning of the new 'Living in a Revolution' gallery at the Science Museum.

The closing date for applications is Friday 4 July 2008. Interviews will be held in mid-July.


21 May 2008
Autumn conferences: 'The Health and Welfare of the Manufactured Animal' and 'Climate Matters'

We are pleased to announce two new events that look at current issues from a science studies perspective. 'The Health and Welfare of the Manufactured Animal' will be held on 19 September and 'Climate Matters' on 9-10 October 2008. For details, please visit our conference page.


12 May 2008
John Krige, Cardwell Lecture 2008: venue announced

The Seventh Cardwell Memorial Lecture in the History of Technology will be given by Professor John Krige in the Michael Smith Lecture Theatre, University of Manchester, on Tuesday 27 May at 5.30pm. All are welcome.


29 April 2008
Science and the Public: registration now open

Registration has opened for the Third Annual Conference on Science and the Public, the first to be held in Manchester. Running over two days (21-22 June 2008), the programme is focused but features participants from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, including the histories of science and medicine, communication studies, museums studies and science communication practice. The meeting will be held in the unusual setting of the Victoria Baths, known to many from BBC2's Restoration season, making this an event not to be missed.

Full programme details and registration forms are available from the Science and the Public pages.


20 March 2008
Communicating Medicine: conference report

A detailed report on Communicating Medicine: Objects and Objectives, held earlier this month, is now available from the Communicating medicine webpage.


Ray Macauley's presentation

26 February 2008
Students in space!

Two CHSTM PhD students, Ray Macauley and James Farry, attended the international meeting Imagining Outer Space at the Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF) in Bielefeld, Germany, earlier this month. The four-day meeting, jointly sponsored by the ZiF and NASA, included a keynote by NASA Chief Historian Steven Dick. Ray presented a paper, 'Inscribing scientific knowledge', based on his ongoing research into attempts to devise universal messages for interstellar communication.


19 February 2008
CHSTM Newsletter: Spring 2008

Our latest newsletter is out, featuring details of Duncan Wilson's history of the Manchester School of Biological Sciences, the 2007 BSHS Annual Conference, new research fellowships and PhD projects, CHSTM in the news, work with the Blue Planet Live show and the Manchester Science Festival, and more...


12 February 2008
Postgraduate Open Day, Wednesday 5 March

Interested in learning more about graduate study or research at CHSTM? Come along to our Open Day and find out about the possibilities. Travel bursaries are available.


6 February 2008
Lunchtime seminars, February-June 2008

This semester's programme of lunchtime seminars is now available.


31 January 2008
Edinburgh post for Andrew Gardiner

Congratulations to our final-year PhD student Andrew Gardiner, who has been appointed Clinical Lecturer in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. This is an innovative appointment which will combine veterinary surgical teaching with the organisation and evaluation of teaching, learning and assessment.

A key factor in the appointment was Andrew's PhD work, which surveys changes in the veterinary profession over the twentieth century, such as the rise of small animal practice. He will be completing his dissertation over the next few months while lecturing part-time.

Andrew, a qualified vet himself, is CHSTM's second vetinary success in recent years: Abigail Woods, whose PhD research looked at foot and mouth disease, is now a lecturer in the history of medicine at Imperial College London.


Isaac Cruickshank's Porter brewer and his family (1807): one of a wave of cartoons and pamphlets alleging toxic adulteration in beer

31 January 2008
Public event: James Sumner, 'Brewers, chemists and beer-doctors', 20 February

Following last autumn's event for the Manchester Science Festival, our historian of brewing science and technology James Sumner will be presenting another talk, aimed at public audiences, in the upstairs room of the Briton's Protection pub, 7pm on Wednesday 20 February. Brewers, chemists and beer-doctors will look at the tangled web of claims about adulteration, poisons, standards and product improvement in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, as part of Crazy Chemistry week in association with the Museum of Science and Industry.


28 January 2008
Special events: Cardwell Memorial Lecture in the history of technology; Manchester History of Medicine Lecture 2008

Announcing two high-profile speakers in the annual co-sponsored lecture series:

Visitors are welcome.


28 January 2008
CHSTM seminar series, February-June 2008

Our main seminar programme for Semester Two and the summer is now available. We have also updated the Mental Health Forum programme.


Graduate students at this year's meeting in Leeds
Graduate students at this year's meeting in Leeds

28 January 2008
CHSTM to host BSHS Postgraduate Conference 2009

CHSTM was remarkably well-represented at the annual British Society for the History of Science postgraduate conference in Leeds earlier this month, with eleven CHSTM graduate students attending. Our students delivered nearly a fifth of all the papers at the meeting, reflecting our growth as one of the major centres for HSTM research study in the UK.

Following this strong showing, and the main BSHS meeting in Manchester in 2007, the Society has confirmed that CHSTM is to host next year's Postgraduate Conference. Watch this space for further details!