Surviving before, during and after your viva

I was inspired to write this after spying a tweet by Dr Nathan Ryder, the author of How to Fail Your Viva asking if anyone had written a blog about surviving their viva recently. Having had a fresh look at the Viva Survivor site (which I highly recommend), it got me thinking about surviving my … Continue reading Surviving before, during and after your viva


Lunchtime seminar – 1st March – Jessica Borge (Birkbeck, University of London)

Selling Condoms to Clinics: The London Rubber Company and the Family Planning Association in pre-'Pill' Britain Inspired by Rose Holz’s recent work on American Planned Parenthood clinics (and based on a chapter from my forthcoming PhD thesis), this paper explores the curious, exploitative give-and-take relationship of two key actors from modern British contraceptive history. The … Continue reading Lunchtime seminar – 1st March – Jessica Borge (Birkbeck, University of London)

23/02/2016: Laura Sellers (University of Leeds)

Disease, professionalisation and research: creating a prison medical service in Victorian England In the nineteenth century English prisons became places of punishment and reform, following the end of transportation (1853). These new institutions were officially nationalised in 1877 but it took some time to establish a coherent and functional system. The new prison service called … Continue reading 23/02/2016: Laura Sellers (University of Leeds)

15/12/2015 Sanne Aagard Jensen (University of Copenhagen)

Nuclear-proof communications? Telecommunications emergency planning and NATO’s Cold War signal exercises Throughout the Cold War, concern about how to secure the alliance’s communications infrastructure was an important topic on the NATO agenda. As a new war was expected to be fought on home territory, an operative and secure communications system was needed. This was due … Continue reading 15/12/2015 Sanne Aagard Jensen (University of Copenhagen)

01/12/2015 Roland Edwards (University of Manchester)

The Ergonomics of Clothing Design - Project Adam, Harold Wilson's Gannex coat and Dogger Bank Itch As Steven Shapin and others have observed the circulation and exchange of discipline knowledge using formal and informal networks between communities of interest is critical to the growth of scientific disciplines. Generally communities of interest are identified as including, … Continue reading 01/12/2015 Roland Edwards (University of Manchester)

24/11/2015 Rachel Boon (University of Manchester)

'To Strive, To Seek, To Find' - the ambitions at the Post Office Research Station, 1945-1951 In 1946, the Engineer-in-Chief, Sir Stanley Angwin wrote a memorandum in which he proposed his vision for the future of the Post Office Research Branch. His policy depended on three major changes: a shift from short-term projects to long … Continue reading 24/11/2015 Rachel Boon (University of Manchester)

17/11/2015 Kieran Fitzpatrick (University of Oxford)

Careering through India: Irish surgeons and their careers in India, 1870-1900 In her book titled The Rise of Professionalism published in 1977, the sociologist of professions and professionalization, M.S. Larson, declared that ‘Some professions developed in aristocratic societies, some in democratic ones, still others under corporate capitalism and bureaucracy. The course of professionalization varies in … Continue reading 17/11/2015 Kieran Fitzpatrick (University of Oxford)

10/11/2015 Paul Coleman (University of Leeds)

World War One and the Development of Electrical Supply in Britain The argument that warfare drives innovation is not new, however it is often applied to obviously military technologies such as the submarine or tank. However, developments in predominantly civilian technologies are less obviously explained that way, at least for the early twentieth century. This … Continue reading 10/11/2015 Paul Coleman (University of Leeds)

20/10/2015 Jacob Ward (UCL)

"Machines must be servants not masters": From the Post Office to British Telecom, 1959-84 This paper explores the relationship between technological change and organisational reform in the post-war Post Office, and highlights how management of a nationalised technological system necessitates management of the relationship between man and machine. In 1955, the British government issued a … Continue reading 20/10/2015 Jacob Ward (UCL)