About juliehipperson

I'm a research student in the history department at King's College London in collaboration with the RCVS Knowledge*, on a project about women in veterinary medicine (science?). The project, and the blog, is called 'Pioneers and Professionals' as I hope to look beyond the pioneering women veterinary surgeons and to the wider experience of women in the profession throughout the twentieth century** *Before August 2012 I was based the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London before we moved as a group to Kings. RCVS Knowledge was formerly known the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Charitable Trust ** I named this blog in my first year. If I was naming it again I would probably call it something different, because I have realised the 'professionalisation' aspect of women in vet med is only one of many. I also look at the vet's part in the human-animal interaction, the differences in the cultures of medicine and science, and the shifting definition of 'public service'.


So HumSci is over! It was a fantastic event, and I shall be collecting and publishing my thoughts about it very soon.  We are also planning to put together a short booklet about the workshop which interested parties can download, so that this can be a foundation for other events.

Indeed, some of the participants are also already planning their own events off the back off the workshop.  One particularly interesting idea is SciHum: it was pointed out that as a humanities student I organised the workshop with a specific set of assumptions about how to work through problems -using discussion as a methodology – so the gauntlet has been thrown down to science researchers to show us how they would have done it.  I for one can’t wait.

In the meantime one of the participants – Imogen Clarke – has kindly put together a Storify of tweets about the workshop.  With such a basic blog I can’t display it here, but it’s very easy to follow this link:



On the 30th April I attended a really great event organised by the AHRC for award-holders and was lucky to meet some really interesting people with some great projects, many of them student-led such as HumSci.   A couple of quotes came out of the day which really chimed with how I have always thought about HumSci, so I thought I would share them (slightly paraphrased) with you to give you an idea of the ethos of the two days:

the event is to test ideas
rather than provide answers…

                     young researchers don’t want to be ‘skilled’, they want to
think new things in new ways…

Academics are often afraid of space.  They expand their agenda to fill the available space, and perhaps it’s better to allow room for new ideas and discussions to happen….

Hearing other people discuss these issues makes me glad this workshop is based on reflection and discussion. We’re not asking participants to have done any reading or prepare anything in advance, but rather to reflect on larger issues such as ‘who owns ideas‘ and ‘what do you particularly value about your discipline, and what do you find its frustrations?’ There will be plenty of space to think new ideas in new ways, and I’m particularly looking forward to how this discussion will develop given the diverse backgrounds of the participants; this workshop is truly inter-disciplinary with PhDs and ECRs from (in no particular order):

  • History
  • Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Political economics
  • English literature
  • Mathematics
  • Ecology
  • History of science, technology and medicine (whether this is a separate discipline to ‘history’ is possibly a point of discussion…)
  • Art
  • Psychology
  • History of art