Naming the CHSTM PhD blog: An exercise in Crazed Historians of Science’s Typical Madness?

Synthesising or at least collecting the disparate thoughts and disciplines of past and present PhD students at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Science, Technology and Medicine has proved somewhat easier than at first expected. As is typical of the bizarre breed – the early career researcher – an email requesting a demonstration of wit and providing an opportunity to procrastinate (i.e. asking for ideas as to the name of this blog) garnered rapid and enthusiastic replies.

The conundrum tickling at the white matter (those creative cerebral cells if Horizon’s most recent episode is to be believed) was far simpler to outline than any solution was to come by. How could we sum up a collection of different research objectives, the atmosphere of an academic community and that which drives us, and make the name of a blog? The furore of responses made it clear that naming the blog wasn’t just about labelling what it is we all do, but what we’d like to do, like to be, and indeed like to be seen as collectively.

In the end we gave up on all the highfalutin’ ideas and settled on labelling us as we are: CHSTM PhDs, but for your general amusement the rejected names can be found below. The names meander from the pretentious to the silly and the clever to the clumsy but they all say somewhat about us as a group.

Irresponsible dreams, obstinacy, and error

Blind Polyphemus

Ways of Doing


Re-educating Icarus

A study in hubris

Cheeky Historians of Science Text Mash-up

Churlish Historians of Science’s Total Madness

Those more pretentious names are tempered by an attention to our fallibility, the sillier ones assert our status as historians and the more obscure ones have links to the peculiarities of the academic world more generally.

Myself, I’d be inclined to suggest that the one thing all these names have in common is a sense of fun and (perhaps) a love of our various subject areas. This is the one aspect of life as a PhD at Manchester’s CHSTM that I hope this blog will not only reflect but ignite in others.

I hope you enjoy our blog.


Editor in Chief.


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