Month: June 2014

Getting Your Academic Work Published

On 5 June 2014 I attended the “Getting Grants, Getting Published and Staying Sane: Life After the PhD” event at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London organised by HistoryLab+. Links to the full “series” can be found here.

The bread and butter work of the academic world is undoubtedly the publication of research. Consequently, appreciation of the challenges and opportunities available to PhD students after their graduation is important. Emma Brennan, Barry Doyle and Jane Winters explored this important area in session 3. (more…)


BSHS Masters Bursaries: Four awards for £4,000 available for History of Science Students

The British Society for the History of Science has announced that they have opened the competition for four bursaries they have for masters students in the History of Science. The deadline is 30 June 2014.

The bursaries are worth £4,000 each and are available for students who are starting their Masters programme this academic year coming (i.e. 2014/15). The details are:

Applicants must have a confirmed place on a master’s programme in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Those studying for research-based master’s degrees are eligible to apply, but not PhD students nominally registered for MPhil (or similar) provisionally pending upgrade to PhD registration. There is no nationality requirement for applicants, or an age limit. Non-members of the Society are welcome to apply.

Although they say that non-members are welcome to apply, I would strongly encourage anyone to join the society. It is an extremely active society and publishes the British Journal for the History of Science.* That being said, if you’re successful you get a year’s membership bundled in too as well as free registration to the BSHS Postgraduate Conference.

More details on how to apply can be found on the BSHS website. Good luck to anyone who is applying.


*See my posts on my book reviews published in the BJHS for June and December 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace, the Royal Society and the HMS Challenger Expedition (1872-1876)

George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum and Wallace Fund has published a short post about Wallace’s involvement with the famous HMS Challenger science expedition which took place in the 1870s.*

Wallace was sent a copy of the ‘deep sea deposits’ volume of the Challenger report which was edited by the oceanographer–as opposed to the publisher–John Murray.^

George then discovered that Wallace’s involvement with the Challenger expedition went deeper than just personal correspondence with the Challenger project members. He was also appointed as a member of the committee for the expedition back on 21 March 1872. Indeed, as Charles Smith has noted, Nature published a note of his membership of the committee on 31 October 1872. (more…)

Making the Transition from PhD Student to Junior Academic

On 5 June 2014 I attended the “Getting Grants, Getting Published and Staying Sane: Life After the PhD” event at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London organised by HistoryLab+. Links to the full “series” can be found here.

UPDATE: I recently came across this interesting article in The Guardian by Adam Dunn about “Early Career Research: The Power of ‘No'” which may be of interest.

Few PhD students thinking of going into academia are under any illusions as to the sharp difference between being a PhD student and entering into the world of professional academia. Nonetheless, the first session of the event was a welcome one on “Making the Transition”. The speakers were Emily Robinson (University of Sussex), Daniel Gerrard (St Peter’s College, Oxford) and Catherine Armstrong (Loughborough University). (more…)

HistoryLab+ Event: "Getting Grants, Getting Published and Staying Sane: Life After the PhD"

On 5 June 2014, HistoryLab+ organised an event at the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London entitled “Getting Grants, Getting Published and Staying Sane: Life After the PhD”.

They are, of course, my notes and as a result although chiefly derived from my handwritten notes on the day will include my own misunderstandings of what the speakers themselves said and additional things I thought of as the talks took place.

Below are the links to my notes from the different sessions on the day which I will update as and when I get time to write them up:

1: Making the Transition from PhD Student to Junior Academic

2: Getting Your Academic Work Published

TALK in Cardiff: "Wallace, Darwin and human evolution" by Chris Stringer

If anyone is in or around Cardiff on 10 June there is an interesting talk on “Wallace, Darwin and human evolution” taking place at Cardiff University in the Wallace Lecture theatre from 6.30pm.

I saw a paper delivered on much the same subject by Chris Stringer, who works at the Natural History Museum in London, at the Royal Society late last year and it was very interesting.

I am still waiting to get the time to finally start and finish his Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain which has been on my reading list for about a year. It was well received at the time winning the Best Archaeology Book Award and Kistler Book Award in 2008. Certainly, the opening chapters I have read were very interesting and well written. But I will have to reserve judgement on the bulk of the book for now.

If anyone does get to go–unfortunately I will be in London delivering a paper myself–please do tell me what he had to say and what you thought.

The lecture is free and more information is available on the Cardiff University events page.

NEW BOOK: "On the Organic Law of Change" by James T. Costa

This morning I received a new book ready for review: On the Organic Law of Change: A Facsimile Edition and Annotated Transcription of Alfred Russel Wallace’s Species Notebook of 1855-1859 by Jim Costa.

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on a copy for review. Wallace’s species notebooks were the field notebooks which Wallace wrote during his time in the Malay Archipelago (1854-1862). Of course, this period of his life is now immortalised due to it being the period in which he independently co-discovered the theory of natural selection with Darwin in 1858. (more…)

SYMPOSIUM in Oxford: What is a Letter? An Interdisciplinary Approach, 2 to 4 July 2014

Registration for the interdisciplinary symposium on “What is a Letter?” is now open. It will be taking place at St Edmund’s Hall, University of Oxford between 2 and 4 July 2014. The blurb describes it as this:

The symposium ‘What is a letter? An interdisciplinary approach’ will bring together experts on letter writing from a diverse range of disciplines (including literary and cultural studies in a number of modern languages, linguistics, editorial studies, sociology, and history), countries (including Austria, Britain, and Germany), and institutions (including universities, museums, and libraries).


IN PRESS: "Alfred Russel Wallace’s Introduction to Botany Through John Lindley"

I have recently had accepted for publication a short note on Alfred Russel Wallace’s early introduction to botany through the works of John Lindley.

In it I raise new material which pinpoints the first botanical text Wallace owned, read and used which reinforces the importance of Lindley–who was the inaugural Professor of Botany at University College London–in Wallace’s early adventures into natural history.

Obviously it is known that Wallace owned Lindley’s Elements of Botany early on, but this pushes Lindley’s influence earlier than that and fills in a gap in our knowledge of Wallace’s earliest botanical experience.

Despite its short length (under 1500 words) it took some time to finalise this piece of research due to the lack of foundational facts that existed. Hopefully it will be of interest once it is published next year.

As it stands, it will be published by the Archives of Natural History in April 2015. I will, obviously, post it once it is printed.