Professor John Pickstone - personal details
I am currently Wellcome Research Professor in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, in the Faculty of Life Scinces of the University of Manchester,
Born and raised in Burnley, Lancashire, I studied Natural Sciences, especially physiology at Cambridge and at Queen's University, Canada. I took the MSc in History and Philosophy of Science at University College London (1969), and my PhD at Chelsea College London (1974) - on General Physiology in early nineteenth-century France, especially the work of Dutrochet on osmosis. I held fellowships in History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota (1971-3) and at University College London (1974), before moving in 1974 to the Department of History of Science and Technology, UMIST, Manchester, to work on the history of hospitals in the Manchester region (Lecturer 1977, then Senior Lecturer).
In 1985-6, as part of a rationalisation, I moved to the Victoria University of Manchester and established CHSTM, including the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine and the National Archive for the History of Computing. I directed CHSTM until 2002 when I became a Research Professor.
Now I am publishing mainly on modern medical history, eg cancer and medical technology but also on the recent history of the NHS, partrly in collaboration with colleagues in the National Centre for Primary Care Research and Development. With Roberta Bivins, I edited a volume in honour of the late Roy Porter (Palgrave, 2007), and with Peter Bowler, the CUP History of Science volume on Modern Earth and Life Sciences (2008).
My work on Ways of Knowing continues to attract attention, including a special session at the (American) HSS conference in Washington, DC, 2007, and an invitation to produce a collected volume. With my work on recent medical history, it attracts many international invitations -- most recently (07-08) to Yale, Penn, Paris, Maastricht, Berlin and Mexico.
My long-standing interest in the regional history of science and medicine has been renewed in edited volumes, and through recent studies by me and/or younger colleagues of Manchester since WWII, including work on Manchester Public Health, the Central Teaching Hospitals, and the development of biology and medcine in the University.
For the University of Manchester, I recently helped arrange a series of 'Interfaculty Lectures', and with friends in Manchester Metropolitan University and the City, I initiated and organised a a major Manchester Histories Festival in March 2009. This proved as huge success, filling the Town Hall, with c 5000 participants. It has stimulated a general review of Manchester's refelctions of its history; and ongoing plans for more Festivals, every two years or so.