BSHS PG 2014 Round-up

A conference to kick start the new term:

BSHS PG conference, Leeds 8-10 January

Once the Christmas bloating subsided and New Year’s hangovers were abated with the joy of new Sherlock, the CHSTM crowd descended upon the BSHS postgrad conference in Leeds. The conference began on a Wednesday afternoon, with one of the first sessions featuring who I would deem our seasoned speakers: Sam and Stuart. Delivering papers on ocean science and geopolitics at Gibraltar and the ‘White Heat’ of Tory science respectively, this lively session highlighted the close relationship between the state and the history of science and technology. It was a great start to proceedings alongside a paper on colonial cartography by Elizabeth Haines of Royal Holloway and a paper on the psychological testing used in the British Army during the Second World War by Alice White from Kent (an honorary CHSTMer due to Alice’s enthusiasm for visiting Manchester).

At the same time, Hannah gave her paper on the construction of HIV-Positive identities in Just Seventeen magazine in the Sex and Sexualised Diseases session, which was well received.

Camilla spoke in a parallel session she organised on Philosophy and Representation in Physics, on what art can tell us about CERN.

Kath also spoke on Wednesday afternoon, providing us with an insight into her research into Siemens (the UK company) during the First World War, and the tensions arising from their dual Anglo-German identity.

With the exception of fellow rookie, Andrew Ball (one of our new members), the CHSTMers had a relaxing day of listening to a variety of papers on Thursday, ranging from Adrian James Kirwan’s excellent paper on Ireland’s early telegraph wires, to Oliver Marsh’s entertaining, Feynmanesque delivery of his talk on media myths of Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. In the Agriculture session, Andrew presented us with an overview of what his thesis will tackle, and we all enjoyed his slides of abattoir floor plans!

After a wine fuelled conference dinner…

conference dinner fun

…it was down to Jia-Ou and I to take on the ‘hangover shift’ on Friday morning but fortunately we had a good turnout for our Politics in the Museum session, and we took some astute questions from what I am grateful was an alert audience! Alice Haigh also spoke in our session, and the CHSTMers in attendance were all fascinated to learn about social attitudes to the masses at Bethnal Green Museum in the mid-Victorian period. The final session of the conference was a marathon session in which two parallel sessions were amalgamated into one. Andrew Black delivered an insightful paper reflecting on contemporary issues on his research into the Medical Research Council, and the politics of researching chronic fatigue syndrome.

We’d like to thank those at Leeds for an excellent conference, and if you would like to find out more about any of the CHSTMers papers, our  contact details are available on our profile pages.

Posted by Erin

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