24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Drop-in events and regular tours

The Congress features an extensive programme of tours, visits and excursions which take place at particular times, and which you may need to book in advance. But some local venues have kindly arranged temporary exhibitions which you can visit throughout the day, and we will also be selling tickets for sightseeing tours of Liverpool which don’t tie you to a particular time.

This page supplements the main timetable by listing all the drop-in and regular activities provided in association with the Congress.

Working Class Movement Library: history of science exhibition

The Working Class Movement Library has a unique collection recording over two hundred years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. There is extensive material on the growth of trade unions, socialist and co-operative organisations; early Socialists had a thirst for a wide education, including science and technology.

The Library is presenting an exhibition to coincide with iCHSTM to echo its theme of ‘Knowledge at Work’. This will cover topics such as the contributions that scientists have made to the peace movement, campaigns to improve public health, and the struggles that trade unions and others have undertaken to make the workplace a safer place.

The exhibition celebrates working people, such as the whitesmith Samuel Gibson – who, although his formal education was limited to Sunday School, became a respected geologist, botanist and entomologist – and middle-class supporters of working class movements such as Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace was the joint originator with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, and this year is the centenary of his death.

Drop-in times: Wednesday to Friday, 13.00–17.00

For more details, see the website: www.wcml.org.uk


People’s History Museum: Hazard! exhibition

The People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of how ordinary people have achieved extraordinary things through co-operation. We have been based in Manchester since 1990 and we work to encourage the widest range of users to explore the history and achievements of working class people in Britain.  For iCHSTM, we are offering tours focusing on related elements of our collection and gallery displays. This is a unique opportunity to look at the museum in a different light, and we look forward to welcoming delegates. Drop in to the Hazard! exhibition, which focuses on health in the workplace over the past two hundred years.

Drop-in times: daily, 10.00–17.00

For more details, see the website: www.phm.org.uk/


Imperial War Museum North: Saving Lives exhibition

On the edge of the Trafford Park industrial zone – a major target for bombers in the Second World War – the Imperial War Museum North opened in 2002. Its distinctive structure, designed by Daniel Liebeskind, consists of shard-like projections, symbolising the fractures caused by conflict; its displays address the effects of war on the lives of service personnel and civilians around the world.  

Saving Lives: Frontline Medicine in a Century of Conflict is a major temporary exhibition exploring the interrelation of warfare and medicine from the First World War to the present. Learn about Major Margaret Barclay-Cooke, a nursing officer with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, who, faced with sub-zero temperatures and basic conditions, transformed a disused operating theatre to treat patients in the immediate aftermath the Falklands War. Find out about the production and distribution of penicillin at ICI in Trafford Park, in the Second World War and about Archibald McIndoe, pioneer of surgical reconstruction methods, whose whose RAF patients became known as the ‘Guinea Pig Club’.

Drop-in times: daily, 10.00–17.00

For more information, see the website: www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-north

There are also some guided tours of Saving Lives in conjunction with the Congress: see the tours programme for details.


City Sightseeing Liverpool

City Sightseeing Liverpool is a bus service that allows you to hop on and off buses which tour the major sights of the iconic maritime city.

Liverpool may be unable to compete with Manchester’s rich history as a centre for popular music; in terms of industrial heritage, however, its long-term role as the chief sea-port of the textile towns makes it in many ways a twin sister of its great rival to the east (see also Industrial heritage further afield on this website). The grandeur of the waterfront is echoed by much of the surviving Victorian fabric; but there are also frequent glimpses of the human cost of explosive industrial change. Equally famously, Liverpool is the city that has a cathedral to spare: the centres of Anglican and Catholic faith add prominent and strikingly different features to the skyline.

Liverpool also stands alongside Manchester in its growing confidence as a tourist and visitor destination, with new shops and a buzzing café culture. Visitors can take boat trips across the River Mersey and see such attractions as Spaceport, The Beatles Story, and the U-Boat Story (on board a real wartime German submarine). Hop off the bus at Western Approaches, the Liverpool War Museum, or take a trip down William Brown Street to visit the World Museum, Central Library and Walker Art Gallery. The famous Tate Liverpool gallery is also not to be missed, with free entry (excepting some major exhibitions).

Tickets are available from the Congress Events Desk at University Place, priced as follows: adults £10; students (with ID) and seniors (aged 60+), £6; children (aged 5 to 15), £5; family (maximum of 2 adults and 3 children) £25. Please note that travel from Manchester to Liverpool is NOT included in the price. A regular direct train service runs to Liverpool from Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations.

Each ticket is valid for unlimited travel on the circular City Sightseeing bus route throughout a period of 24 hours. For more information, including the route, see the website: