Going Viral - Day 2

Friday 5 June, 14:00-17:30 (UK time) & Friday 12 June, 14:00-17:50 (UK time)

This event will take place online with Zoom
Please register by emailing hsmt@history.ox.ac.uk to receive the Zoom link and joining details

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Postgraduate Conference 2020

Going Viral

Friday 12 June - Day 2

Welcome to the 2020 History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Postgraduate Conference. These days there is only one story that dominates the news, and only one place to discuss it: Covid-19 and the internet. In “Going Viral” we take you on a scholarly journey through four stages of a pandemic in the age of social media. Guiding you on this journey are one DPhil, two MPhil and nine MSc students from four different continents and a variety of institutional backgrounds. Although most of us have trained as historians, we also have backgrounds in gender studies, immunology, and physics. HSMT is an expansive and constantly evolving area of scholarship; this is reflected in our selection of research projects. Taking you up to 1800 you will hear about natural philosophy in seventeenth-century England, and eighteenth-century botanical collecting practices, anatomical waxworks, and static electricity. Taking you through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries you will hear about public health in India, medical debates around transsexualism and physical education programs in the United States, cybernetics, and the history of lab mice. Like many areas of daily life, scholarship too has needed to adapt to a world consumed by a pandemic and a society which has transposed itself onto the internet (with varying levels of success). With this in mind we took the opportunity to find new and perhaps unusual ways of connecting our projects. Like most history, this conference is therefore as much a reflection of the present as it is an exploration of the past. We hope you find our panels thought-provoking. Please do not forget to wash your hands regularly.

Friday 12 June - Day 2


Zoom Login Open


Session Three – Anti-Bodies


India Barrett
Anatomical adonises: aesthetics, politics, and ideals in representing the human body


Colin Williams
Meat the machine


Georgina Grant
Building Britain beautiful: eugenics, national identity and physical activity in the interwar period


Martijn van der Meer
The Dutch “intelligent lockdown” in historical perspective: a conceptual history of heredity in Dutch interwar public health


Chair: Madeline White


Optional HSMT Pictionary


Session Four – Search for a Cure


Floris Winckel

Static, or dynamic? Electricity in the Dutch Republic, 1745-1789


Alan Yang
The mouse’s promise: the rise of mice as models for human genetics and biology, 1900-1940.


Dan McAteer
Technocracy to counterculture: Gregory Bateson and the politics of "psybernetics"


Chair: Levi Hord


Closing Remarks:  Dr Erica Charters