The Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London and the Royal Institution offer two fully-funded PhD studentships available to commence at the start of the next academic year. Applicants should possess or be about to successfully complete a masters in the history of science or in science studies more broadly or an appropriate first degree.
The successful candidate will be provided with access to facilities and resources at the Royal Institution including deskspace. The student will be supervised by Professor Frank James and an appropriate secondary supervisor at UCL STS. The three-year studentships will provide the standard research council stipend and UCL EU tuition fee (for an exceptional non-EU candidate, application may be made for additional funding, but this cannot be guaranteed). Expressions of interest, including a brief cv, should be sent to Professor Frank James ([email protected]) by 16 April 2018 and preferably earlier. A formal application procedure will follow.
The studentships are in the following areas:
Studentship 1: The Royal Institution after Davy. This project will investigate who formed the membership of the Royal Institution in the decades after around 1812 and who and why attended its lectures. Broadly it is understood that in addition to continuing afternoon lectures, the Royal Institution organised lectures for medical student at St George’s Hospital and elsewhere, the Friday Evening Discourses (founded 1825) and the Christmas Lectures for juveniles (also 1825). Research questions might include: Does the available evidence support the current understanding? How were these programmes established, funded, sustained etc? Does the emphasis in content change over time? How were they reported in the media? And so on.
Studentship 2: The Royal Institution in the 1980s and 1990s This project will investigate the Royal Institution’s role in scientific research, communication and education during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Specific issues that could be examined would include how these aspects related with developments in these areas elsewhere in Britain, for example in the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). Other topics might include how the Royal Institution deployed its heritage (including the Faraday Museum) in projecting its image, changes in the Christmas Lectures, and the development of the Mathematics Masterclasses.
Image: Wellcome Collection.