John Pickstone (29 May 1944 – 12 February 2014) was a British historian of science and the Wellcome Research Professor in the Centre for the History of science, Technology and Medicine, in the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Manchester.
The history of science is the study of the development of science and scientific knowledge, including both the natural and social sciences. Science is a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by scientists who emphasize the observation, explanation, and prediction of real-world phenomena. Historiography of science, in contrast, studies the methods employed by historians of science.
Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.
The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester. The University of Manchester is a red brick university, a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century.
Pickstone was born and raised in Burnley, Lancashire, England. After attending Burnley Grammar School, he studied Natural sciences, especially physiology, at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. After his degree he took an MSc in History and philosophy of science at University College London, 1969, and completed his PhD at Chelsea College London, 1974 (on general physiology in early 19th-century France, especially the work of Dutrochet on osmosis). He has held fellowships in History of medicine at the University of Minnesota (1971–73) 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, later Senior Lecturer).
Burnley is a town in Lancashire, England, with a 2001 population of 73,021. It is 21 miles (34 km) north of Manchester and 20 miles (32 km) east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun.
Burnley Grammar School was latterly, a state-funded selective boys grammar School, situated in Byron Street in Burnley, England. However, during its long history, it moved between a number of sites in the town.
Natural science is a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeatability of findings are used to try to ensure the validity of scientific advances.
In 1985–86, as part of a rationalisation, he moved to the Victoria University of Manchester and established the Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CHSTM), including the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine and the National Archive for the History of computing before directing the Centre until 2002 when he became a Research Professor.
The former Victoria University of Manchester, now the University of Manchester, was founded in 1851 as Owens College. In 1880, the college joined the federal Victoria University, gaining an independent university charter in 1904 as the Victoria University of Manchester after the collapse of the federal university.
The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and slate, with or without the aid of tables.
Latterly, Pickstone published mainly on modern medical history, e.g. cancer and medical technology; but also on regional history of STM, on which he edited two journal numbers in 2007. With Roberta Bivins, he edited a volume in honour of the late Roy Porter (Palgrave, 2007) and with Peter Bowler, edited the Cambridge University Press History of Science volume on Modern Earth and Life Sciences (2008). 'Ways of Knowing'continues to attract attention, including a special session at the American history of science conference in Washington, DC, 2007, and an invitation to produce an Osiris volume. With his work on recent medical history, it attracted international invitations; in 2007–2008, this included visits to Yale University, Pennsylvania, Paris, Maastricht, Berlin and Mexico.
Roy Sydney Porter, FBA was a British historian known for his important work on the history of medicine. He retired in 2001 from the director of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine at University College, London (UCL).
For the University of Manchester, he initiated a series of 'Interfaculty Lectures', and with friends in Manchester Metropolitan University and the City, planned a major local history festival for 2009.[ citation needed ][ needs update ]
Manchester Metropolitan University is a public university located in Manchester, England. The university traces its origins to the Manchester Mechanics Institute and the Manchester School of Design, which formed Manchester Polytechnic in 1970. Manchester Polytechnic then gained university status under the government's Further and Higher Education Act, becoming the Manchester Metropolitan University in 1992. Today, it is headquartered in the city of Manchester, with additional facilities in Cheshire.
Local history is the study of history in a geographically local context and it often concentrates on the local community. It incorporates cultural and social aspects of history. Local history is not merely national history writ small but a study of past events in a given geographical but one that is based on a wide variety of documentary evidence and placed in a comparative context that is both regional and national. Historic plaques are one form of documentation of significant occurrences in the past and oral histories are another.
Pickstone's research interests mostly included aspects of recent medicine, such as the Wellcome project on the history of cancer in Britain, work on medical technology, the history of mental health services, and a collaborative project with the NCRDPC on recent changes in the NHS. He is increasingly interested in the uses of history for health policy.
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness - the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others." The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health".
His wider work on 'Big Pictures' and 'Ways of Knowing' grew from a conviction that through some of the hundreds of excellent papers produced in history of science, technology and medicine since the 1960s, we might develop new and better frames for understanding long-term history. He explored these themes in relation to medical technologies, science-art relations, science-technology relations, and the display of HSTM in museums.
(Some of his writings have his name as 'John V. Pickstone'.)
The history of alternative medicine refers to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as "alternative medicine" beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled "irregular practices" by the western medical establishment. It includes the histories of complementary medicine and of integrative medicine. "Alternative medicine" is a loosely defined and very diverse set of products, practices, and theories that are perceived by its users to have the healing effects of medicine, but do not originate from evidence gathered using the scientific method, are not part of biomedicine, or are contradicted by scientific evidence or established science. "Biomedicine" is that part of medical science that applies principles of anatomy, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice.
The Wellcome Trust is a biomedical research charity based in London, United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to "achieve extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds", and in addition to funding biomedical research it supports the public understanding of science. It has an endowment of £25.9 billion (2018) making it the third wealthiest charitable foundation in the world, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the INGKA Foundation.
The School of Medical Sciences at the University of Manchester is one of the largest in the United Kingdom with around 6,000 undergraduates, 3,000 postgraduates and 2,000 staff. It is the third oldest medical school in England and the largest medical school in the United Kingdom. The Faculty is a member of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and has four affiliated teaching hospitals at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe Hospital, Salford Royal Hospital and the Royal Preston Hospital.
Ancoats Hospital was the commonly used name for the large inner-city hospital, located in Ancoats, to the north of the city centre of Manchester, England. Its official name was Ancoats Hospital and Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary from 1875, when it replaced the Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary that had existed since 1828.
The School of Biological Sciences is a School within the Faculty Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester. Biology at University of Manchester and its precursor institutions has gone through a number of reorganizations, the latest of which was the change from a Faculty of Life Sciences to the current School.
Harold John Cook is John F. Nickoll Professor of History at Brown University and was Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College, London (UCL) from 2000 to 2009, and was the Queen Wilhelmina Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University in New York during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Professor George Sebastian Rousseau is an American cultural historian resident in the United Kingdom.
Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, has the scientific research aim to improve scientific theories for improved understanding or prediction of natural or other phenomena. Applied research, in turn, uses scientific theories to develop technology or techniques to intervene and alter natural or other phenomena. Though often driven by curiosity, basic research fuels applied science's innovations. The two aims are often coordinated in research and development.
The Centre for History in Public Health (CHiPH) is an academic research centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of London. It specializes in historical research into public health and health services, and advocates the use of history within public health policy making.
Sir Mark Jeremy Walport is an English medical scientist and was the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the United Kingdom from 2013 to 2017.
The University of Manchester Library is The University of Manchester's library and information service. The main library is on the Oxford Road campus of the University with its entrance on Burlington Street. There are also ten other library sites, eight spread out across the University's campus, plus The John Rylands Library on Deansgate and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre situated inside Manchester Central Library.
Sir Harry Platt, 1st Baronet, FRCS was an English orthopaedic surgeon, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1954–1957). He was a founder of the British Orthopaedic Association, of which he became president in 1934–1935.
Steve Cross is the founder of Bright Club and Science Showoff.
The History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group (HoMBRG) is an academic organisation specialising in recording and publishing the oral history of twentieth and twenty-first century biomedicine. It was established in 1990 as the Wellcome Trust's History of Twentieth Century Medicine Group, and reconstituted in October 2010 as part of the School of History at Queen Mary University of London.
The British Society for the History of Medicine (BSHM) is an umbrella organisation for History of medicine societies throughout the United Kingdom. It has grown from the original four affiliated societies to twenty affiliated societies in 2018. The society holds its Congress on alternate years in centres around the UK, with the Poynter Lecture being held on alternate years in London.
The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) at the University of Manchester is one of the largest groups in Britain researching and teaching the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) as one integrated field of study.
Dr. Mark Swerdlow FFARCS, DA (1918–2003) was a British consultant anaesthetist, said to have "created the speciality of pain medicine in Great Britain".
Professor Hubert Frank Woods (1937-2016), known as Frank, was a British pharmacologist.
Thomas Schlich is a German-Canadian historian of medicine known for his work on the history of surgery.