Welcome to the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine.
There has been a long and distinguished history in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) at the University of Aberdeen, with past staff including prominent historians of medicine (Andrew Wear, David Smith), chemistry (Nick Fisher), the medieval period (George Molland) and early modern science (Jim Bennett, Mario Biagioli).
The Centre for HPSTM acts as the focus for research and teaching in the history, philosophy, ethics and literature of science, technology and medicine at the University of Aberdeen. Staff are housed within History, Philosophy, English and other departments and units, including Anthropology, the Marischal Museum, Physics and Computing.
Research and teaching strengths are currently located in the following areas:
- Literature, medicine, and science
- Science, religion and philosophy since 1650
- History of medicine since Antiquity; medicine in literature and film since the 18th century
- Philosophy of physics; history and philosophy of quantum mechanics
- History and philosophy of the life sciences; current issues in philosophy of biology
- History and philosophy of technology
- Science, technology and literature
- Science and popular culture since 1800
- Material culture of science and museology
We welcome inquiries from prospective researchers and students on these and related topics. For more information on staff research interests, click here. We offer graduate students the opportunity to study for the MLitt and PgDip in History and Philosophy of Science, and for the PhD in either History or Philosophy with an interdisciplinary focus. Philosophy offers, in addition, the MRes degree, which could be taken with an interdisciplinary focus.
The University's libraries have superb collections for research in history of science, medicine and technology from the sixteenth century up to the present day. Holdings include a magnificent collection of incunabula and early printed works of natural philosophy and medicine; one of Scotland's fullest and most varied collections of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientific books and periodicals; and specific collections including 19th-century medical pamphlets, the Wolfenbuttel Plague Collection on microfiche, the Gregory Collection of scientific and medical works, and the O'Dell Collection on railways and transport.
- There are extensive manuscript resources ranging from the thirteenth-century Aberdeen Bestiary (also available on-line) through the archives of Thomas Reid to records of local societies (e.g., the Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, the Aberdeen Philosophical Society; the Aberdeen Association of Civil Engineers) and industries.
- The Marischal Museum, King’s Museum and other sites provide rich resources for students of the material culture of science and medicine. The University is particularly fortunate in its unique Natural Philosophy collection, comprising scientific instruments associated with the teaching of natural philosophy at Aberdeen from the eighteenth century to the present day.