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STS receives 'Platinum' Green Impact award

The first results of the UCL Green Impact audit have been released, and STS have been rewarded with a Platinum grade. This is the second highest possible (below 'Excellence') and puts us on a level with the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) and above a large number of departments.

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STS scores 100% NSS overall satisfaction AGAIN!

For the third time in five years, STS has received a perfect score on the National Student Survey, receiving 100% overall satisfaction from students completing their degree in 2017. This is the highest result in their Faculty and one of the highest results across the whole of UCL. Though critics (including academics in STS) urge caution when interpreting these results, this survey is used in the Higher Education sector as a general performance indicator.

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Conference - "Joseph Banks: Science, Culture and Exploration 1743-1820"

Taking place at Kew Gardens from the 14-16th September, this conference is the culmination of an 18-month AHRC-funded Network project exploring the intersections of Enlightenment science, culture, commerce and empire through the figure of Joseph Banks, his correspondents, circles and networks. The ‘Joseph Banks Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’ Network is a collaborative partnership between the National Maritime Museum, University College London, the Royal Society, Natural History Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. For further information on the Network project, see their webpage: www.rmg.co.uk/josephbanksnetwork

With Keynote Speakers Professor David Igler (University of California, Irvine) and Professor Kapil Raj (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, Paris), and other speakers from a range of disciplines, the conference reflects new research on the global contexts of Banks’s interests, influence and legacies.

Booking for the Conference is now open. To book, follow this link to the Royal Society’s website where full information can be found:

For queries on the conference or Joseph Banks Network project, please contact the Network coordinator Sally Archer sarcher@rmg.co.uk

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2017-18 HPSC module catalogue published

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies has published our catalogues for modules in the 2017-18 session. These cover undergraduate and taught postgraduate HPSC modules. 

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Two new lecturers join STS

STS is delighted to announce the appointment of two new lecturers to academic posts within the department: 

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UCL Open Days June 30th / July 1st

UCL will be holding summer open days on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July. The Open Days offer a variety of activities including admissions talks, general talks on topics such as accommodation, finance and careers.

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STS Students at the Grant Museum

Visitors to the Grant Museum will have noticed a new display, courtesy of students on STS's HPSC3003 Communication of Scientific Ideas module. The new display, entitled 'Sexual Selection: How to choose a mate', features stag beetles, tree frogs, and several other examples of animal attractors.

Biosciences student Robyn Webb, one of the group who designed the display, explained the thinking behind it:

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Job: Philosophy of Medicine (Teaching Fellow)

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies seeks to appoint a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy of Medicine for the 2017-18 academic session to deliver taught undergraduate and master’s modules, supervise undergraduate dissertations, and undertake related academic support duties. The appointment will be made on the grade 7 scale, plus London Weighting (pro rata) available from 19 September 2017 through 10 June 2018.

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Prof. Jon Agar - Royal Society Prize Lecture

On Tuesday 4th April, Prof. Jon Agar gave his Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar prize lecture at the Royal Society, on 'The curious history of curiosity-driven research'.

Professor Agar was awarded the 2016 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal in recognition of his work as a leading figure in the history and philosophy of science. Created in 2005 by the merger of the three previously existing medals, the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar medal had previously been awarded to such luminaries as Lord Melvyn Bragg, Professor Hasok Chang, and Dr Jeremy Butterfield.

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Salon for the City: London's Natural Histories - Simon Werrett / Martin Rowson

On Thursday March 30th the Westminster Library “Salon for the City” hosted by Stephen Coates enjoyed a sold-out salon on “London’s Natural Histories” with UCL’s Simon Werrett and the Guardian’s Martin Rowson. Werrett’s talk, “Crawling King Caterpillar: Portraying Joseph Banks in the Eighteenth Century” discussed the impact of portraits and satirical caricatures of Banks that circulated during his lifetime. Next up was Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson who spoke about the history of London Zoo and the value of zoos for London life. Discussion then followed, lubricated by gin, on subjects ranging from pygmy hippo poo to the value of thrift in science and what animals would be good for caricaturing politicians today.

Post-talk tweets were very positive:

@phoebeceehaitch wrote “Brilliant talks from @simon_werrett & @MartinRowson for #SalonForTheCity Natural Histories at Westminster Arts Ref Lib. Wonderful!”

@SuzyHaller wrote “Had no idea Westminster Reference Library hosts amazing talks. Definitely recommend. Great ones this eve from @simon_werrett & @MartinRowson”

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STS launches Alchemy

Today, STS launches Alchemy. Part annual report, part seasonal newsletter to family and friends, Alchemy offers a means for highlighting student successes, staff comings and goings, recent developments in our research, the arrival of new programmes, and so much more. 

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STS OneBook - Group Seminar

In preparation for next month's OneBook talk with author Philip Ball, the STS Department held a group seminar, with representatives from various STS reading groups coming together for a combined reading session.

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Prof. Steve Miller awarded Emeritus rank

STS is pleased to announced that Prof. Steve Miller has been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor in Science Communication and Planetary Science, following his retirement last month.

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Salon for the City - 30/03/2017

On March 30th 2017, STS's Simon Werrett will take part in a double-bill alongside renowned Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson as part of the Westminster Arts Reference Library's 'Salon for the City', exploring the career of Sir Joseph Banks under the theme of 'Natural Histories'.

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new research on Medical Pneumatic Institution of Bristol

In October 2015, Prof. Frank James gave the Wheeler lecture to the Historical Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, on Thomas Beddoes and the Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol. We are pleased to announce that this lecture has now been published online as part of the RSCHG Occasional Papers series.

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Rethinking Joseph Banks - 10-11th Nov 2016

Sir Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook as a naturalist on Cook’s first voyage around the world in 1768 to 1771. In 1778 Banks was appointed President of the Royal Society and oversaw a global network of collaborators in the sciences until his death in 1820. Among his varied pursuits, Banks initiated the practice of sending naturalists on British voyages of exploration, a practice which continued for decades after his death. He played a significant role in developing Kew Gardens and contributed to the creation of the Royal Institution.

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