Tag Archives: HSMT

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 7, 25th November

UPDATE: This lecture has been cancelled due to UCU strike action.

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Jacob Ward, who will be speaking about ‘Thatcherism and the Information Age: How the British Telecom Infrastructure Changed Politics’.

What? ‘In 1984, Margaret Thatcher privatised British Telcom for almost £4 billion, then the largest stock flotation in history. BT’s sale popularised privatisation as a key neoliberal policy in Britain and around the world, showing that governments could successfully sell their national infrastructures to the private sector.

This paper argues that BT’s history cannot simply be understood as an example of politicians transforming infrastructure, but instead shows how information technology has mediated political change. I begin by using institutional sociology and infrastructure studies to argue that political change, like technological change, is not a linear process from idea to action, but instead one that is shaped by infrastructure and institutions like British Telecom.

I show this through a history of how telecom engineers and managers computerized and digitalized BT’s network to protect its monopoly for Britain’s ‘second industrial revolution’, complicating BT’s move from public to private. I conclude by considering how, as infrastructure mediates radical political change, we can approach infrastructure ownership and development for today’s supposed ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 25th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 6, 18th November

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Simon Mays, who will be speaking about ‘Humanising the past: the case of the skeletons from Stonehenge’.

What? ‘Archaeology lies at the interface between the sciences and the humanities, drawing on traditions of both. In the study human skeletal remains (ostearchaeology), theoretical as well as methodological approaches from the sciences have become dominant. This had led to a narrowing of the discipline. Testing of hypotheses using statistical analyses of large data sets has come to be regarded as the main and, in the eyes of some, the only valid way of conducting osteoarchaeology. In recent years this has begun to be questioned. There is a rise in an osteoarchaeology in which the focus is not on patterns at a population level but rather the construction of narratives of lives of individuals from their skeletons. Such approaches were arguably stimulated by the need to use scientific analyses to present osteoarchaeology to the public in an engaging way. However, the rise of this ‘osteobiographical’ approach may also signal a theoretical realignment in which concepts from the humanities are once again perceived as providing a fruitful basis for osteoarchaeological enquiry. As ever, the difficulty lies in reconciling these ‘two cultures’ in a fruitful way. I will illustrate these points with a study of the osteobiographies of some skeletons from Stonehenge.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 18th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 4, 4th November

UPDATE: Please note the below lecture has now been cancelled. 

Happy Halloween! November is (spookily) almost upon us, so here are the details for the first November lecture…

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Caitjan Gainty (King’s College London), who will be speaking about ‘Dissecting “Diegelman” (1945): Film, Medicine and the Cinematic Oeuvre of Kurt Goldstein’.

What? ‘This talk uses as an entry point into the discussion of medical cinema the neurological films of Kurt Goldstein, the psychiatrist/neurologist who, like many of his medical colleagues in the first half of the twentieth century, saw the new technology of motion pictures as potentially capable of totally transforming how medicine was done. In exploring what film meant in particular for neurology, the talk will review the movement of cinema into neurologic contexts and explore both the ‘fitness’ of film for neurologic work and the larger cultural and scientific contexts that helped to make motion pictures medically meaningful in the first place.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 4th November 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Week 3, 28th October

Who? Next Monday’s seminar will be given by Dr Leonardo Ariel Carrió Cataldi, who will be speaking about ‘Instruments of early modern Iberian empires: towards a critical history of globalisation’.

What? ‘My paper will present the first outputs of a new project which tackles the crucial but unexamined tension between measuring and orientation tools used by Europe’s Old Regime societies – which bear a strong local and regional stamp – and the universal expansionist ambitions of their empires. Situated at the crossroad of history of science and technology and intellectual and social approaches, for the occasion of the HSMT seminar, I will select some significant case studies, from a wide range of sources (navigational instruments, travelogues, maps, clocks, calendars and nautical and cosmographical treatises) related to the Iberian world and its early modern territorial expansion in a comparative approach with other empires.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 28th October 2019, 16:00.

This lecture has been organised by the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology as part of the Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology series.

All welcome to attend!

Opening hours w/b 21st October

In Week 2, the History of Medicine Library will be staffed:

Monday and Tuesday: 2.15pm-5pm
Wednesday: 2.15pm-4.30pm
Thursday and Friday: 2.15pm-5pm

The Library’s books on the history of medicine are available to search on SOLO, or you can view our newest arrivals on LibraryThing! New readers are always welcome; if you would like to visit please contact us by email or phone to arrange your appointment.

Have a splendid weekend!

The British Museum: the incunabula room of the library, with a member of staff fetching books [?]. Wood engraving, possibly after I. Jewitt. Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Postgraduate Conference 2018: 7th-8th June

The Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology presents:

The 2018 HSMT Postgraduate Conference
Sex, Drugs and Death: New Perspectives on Science, Medicine and Technology
Thursday 7th & Friday 8th June
History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford
hsmt conference 2018 event image

With panels on:

  • Early modern natural philosophy
  • Modern science
  • Psychology
  • Public health and colonialism
  • Reproduction and eugenics

See the full programme here.

The History of Science, Medicine, and Technology is an ever-expanding discipline. This two-day conference allows Oxford postgraduate students in the field to present their research, covering a broad chronological, geographic, and thematic scope. Panel topics range from early modern ideas to public health, with individual papers covering subjects as diverse as reproductive technology, honeybee diseases and twentieth-century scepticism about science – truly offering new perspectives, as questions fundamental to the history of science and medicine are explored and examined.

All welcome.  Admission and lunch are free, but registration is essential. To register please contact belinda.clark@wuhmo.ox.ac.uk by 30 May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology: Week 2, 30th April

Dr Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge) — The Casebooks Project.
‘The Casebooks Project centres on one of the largest surviving sets of medical records in history. Between 1596 and 1634 the notorious London astrologer, Simon Forman, and his protégé Richard Napier, a shy Buckinghamshire clergyman, recorded 80,000 consultations. A decade ago, we piloted Casebooks with an Excel spreadsheet. Now it is a pioneering digital humanities project with a dataset, a web-based search interface and image viewer framed within explanatory documentation and shaped by a programme of academic and public engagement. As the project nears completion, this talk reflects on its lessons for the histories of science and medicine and its implications for future work in the field.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 30th April, 16:00. Tea and coffee will be available in the Common Room from 15.30.

The HSMT Seminar series is convened by Dr Roderick Bailey, Dr Erica Charters, Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Atsuko Naono, of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.
All welcome to attend! For more information on this term’s seminars see the Unit’s webpage.

You can find Dr Kassell’s book, Medicine & Magic in Elizabethan London: Simon Forman; astrologer, alchemist, & physician, at the Wellcome Unit Library at shelfmark R489.F585 KAS 2005.
Also available as an ebook here – just log into SOLO for access.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 3, 23rd October

Next week’s Seminar in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology will be delivered by Dr Emese Lafferton, on the topic Sciences and cults of the mind: hypnosis, psychiatry and modernity in Austro-Hungary.

Dr Lafferton is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Central European University, Budapest. Her general research interests include the history of life sciences, psychiatry, eugenics, racial thinking, evolutionary theories, hereditary theories, physical anthropology and ethnography;  the history of science, empire, and nationalism; the history and sociology of medicine.

In this talk Dr Lafferton will first briefly present the outline of her book project which studies the 19th century fascination with the mind and weaves compelling case studies from urban and rural Hungary and Austria into a sustained analysis of the psychiatric and popular cultures of the psyche. This provides the wider context for her research on medical hypnosis between 1880 and 1920 in the Hungarian Kingdom. She is interested in how the boundaries of science were questioned, blurred, negotiated or maintained in the face of potentially subversive explorations into elusive psychic phenomena, and will try to show what new insights the Central-Eastern European material and perspective may offer to our understanding of the emergence of the modern European mind.

When?: Monday 23rd October at 16.00. Tea and coffee will be available from 15.30 in the Common Room.

Where?: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

Seminars convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charter, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.
More information about this term’s seminars can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology: Week 2, 16th October

Speaker: Dr Julie Parle (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Title: The okapi, the wolf, the fellow, and the baboons: thalidomide in South Africa, 1956-1976

Abstract: Responsible for ‘the world’s worst and most poignant medical disaster’, thalidomide was first formally marketed on 1 October 1957, in West Germany. Instructions for its withdrawal were issued 49 months later, by which time thalidomide-containing products had reached more than 50 countries across the world, including 18 in Africa. Following a pharmaceutical okapi, and via fragmentary histories – those of a man called Wolf, a WHO Travelling Fellow, and several hundred baboons – I focus on the surprising presence and uses of thalidomide in South Africa, 1950s to 1970s. I suggest that tales of this teratogen may be of significance for widening global histories of this drug and for those of medical science and the state in South Africa in the twentieth century.

Conveners: Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charters, Dr Roderick Bailey, Dr Atsuko Naono

When: Monday 16th October at 16:00, coffee available from 15:30 in Common Room

Where: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

More information: http://www.wuhmo.ox.ac.uk/termly-seminars

Ada Lovelace – Wikipedia Editathon – Tuesday 14 October

The University of Oxford’s IT Services, Bodleian Libraries and Wikimedia UK are organising an editathon focused on women in science to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day on 14 October 2014. The editathon will take place at IT Services, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford from 2-5pm, and will include some basic training by a trainer from Wikimedia UK. This exciting event aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the role of women in science by developing the existing online coverage of this important area.

The event is open to anyone; no Wiki editing experience is necessary, though experienced editors are very welcome; tutorials will be provided for Wikipedia newcomers. Female editors are particularly encouraged to attend.

Ada Lovelace is widely held to have been the first computer programmer, and Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.

So come along to learn about how Wikipedia works and contribute a greater understanding of the role of women in science!

  • Date: 2-5pm, Tuesday 14 October 2014  (If you can’t be there the whole time? No problem. Join us for as little or as long as you like.)
  • Venue: IT Services, University of Oxford
  • Booking Link: http://courses.it.ox.ac.uk/detail/TWOE
  • Cost: Free!