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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Cardwell memorial lecture

Professor Donald Cardwell (1919-1998) was a pivotal figure in the academic study of technological history, both locally and internationally. In 1962 he was appointed the founding head of the Department of History of Science and Technology at the new University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST): Cardwell's group created a critical mass of scholars in which both CHSTM and the Museum of Science and Industry originated. He was also closely involved with the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, serving as editor of its Memoirs and as President. His works, including Technology, Science and History (1972), Watt to Clausius (1973) and James Joule: a biography (1989) , fundamentally redefined historical conceptions of science-technology relations and the role of industry.

In 1999 a Donald Cardwell Memorial Fund was set up, among its objectives to sponsor an annual lecture in Cardwell's name, hosted in turn by each of the Manchester institutions shaped by Cardwell's presence, and presented by a leading international figure in the history of technology.

The 2012 Cardwell memorial lecture

Tuesday 6 March, 6.30pm
Lady Hale Lecture Theatre, University of Salford

Professor Otto Sibum, Hans Rausing Professor of History of Science, Uppsala University, Sweden:

In James Joule's laboratory: Experimenting in Manchester and Salford circa 1850

This talk is concerned with the relationship between knowledge and science and the role of the human body in scientific knowledge production. It focuses on an early nineteenth-century landmark of scientific change, the birth of thermodynamics, i.e. James Joule's performance of experimental research on the nature of heat. A historical reconstruction based on a new understanding of the relation between knowledge and action demonstrates that Joule’s great discovery has to be reinterpreted to shed new light onto our current understanding of the relation between knowledge and science in early Victorian Manchester and Salford.

The Cardwell Memorial Lecture is open to the public, and there is no charge, but attendees should register in advance. See the University of Salford website for details.

Past lectures

Professor Laqueur lecturing on the 'Work of the Dead' in the Manchester Crematorium

Thomas Laqueur
Technology and the material sciences of the dead

John Krige
Science, technology and American hegemony

John Heilbron
Air-pumps, cyclotrons and black-boxes: experimental apparatus as nascent technology

David Edgerton
What difference does technology make? Taking the history of low things seriously in an age of high theory

Arnold Thackray
John Dalton, Manchester man

Thomas P Hughes
Ecotechnological systems: a new turning point in technology

Ruth Schwartz Cowan
Medical technology and genetic choices: the history of Thalassemia treatment and prevention in Cyprus

Svante Lindqvist
No prize for technology: Nobel laureates and the public understanding of science

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