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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

BSHS Postgraduate Conference 2009

7-9 January 2009

At a time of year when many people were still recovering from festive excess, CHSTM was in full swing playing host to the annual British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) Postgraduate Conference. Five years had gone by since Manchester last hosted this event, and delegates were not to be disappointed, even if Network Rail did its utmost to disrupt the best laid plans.

A friendly, enthusiastic, engaging and sociable atmosphere permeated the meeting, which featured over thirty papers by researchers the BSHS consider to be the future of the discipline, as shown by their unwavering support. The nearly fifty delegates brought an international flavour to the event, with participants from various institutions in the US and Europe as well as the UK. The excellent standard of presentations addressed a wide variety of topics from the history of science, technology and medicine, to the history of geography and earth sciences, and scientific reception and religion. CHSTM itself was well represented by its first year PhDs who, as well as delivering high quality addresses, gained valuable hints towards the development of their projects.

The experience acquired in delivering papers and networking was supplemented by a 'skills session' concentrating on post-doctoral applications and disseminating thesis findings, passionately conducted by Doctors Joe Cain (UCL) and Duncan Wilson (Manchester), and a session on what the BSHS can do for postgraduates.

Feedback gained was highly complimentary, with attendees commenting: "the standard gets better every year" and "the variety of subjects was fascinating" and "it was nice to meet some other PhD students at last... it was a really good conference."

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Anyone with outstanding queries about the Manchester conference may contact the local organisers at

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