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

Visits and excursions programme

Lovell TelescopeThe Lovell Telescope. Image courtesy of Jodrell Bank Observatory

An important feature of the Congress will be visits to places of interest within easy reach of Manchester.

Aside from the evening receptions and dinner to be held at venues including Old Trafford Football Ground and the Museum of Science and Industry, we are planning a wide range of excursions, local site visits, and walking tours.

Many events are free, and most can be pre-booked. See the full listing in the Congress programme for details.

Thursday trips

The Congress organisers have kept the afternoon of Thursday 25 July free of paper sessions, and we encourage all visitors to take advantage of one of the many opportunities for site visits:

Alternatively, if you are free on Thursday morning too, there is an all-day trip to Chatsworth House, a grand stately home and ornamental gardens in Derbyshire andhome to the papers of Henry Cavendish.

There will also be an unusual opportunity to view the University of Manchester’s medical and healthcare museum collections, plus the usual range of daily campus and other tours (see below).

Daily excursions to Jodrell Bank Observatory

The Congress offers a centrally organised excursion to Jodrell Bank Observatory, home of the iconic Lovell Telescope, every day from Monday to Friday. The excursion lasts all morning, leaving from and returning to University place. The Jodrell Bank excursion is now full most mornings: please see the registration form for latest details.

Campus tours

A special feature of the Congress is a twice-daily offering of tours of the historic campus, uncovering its local history and heritage of scientific, technological and medical discovery and development, including the sites where Ernest Rutherford, Alan Turing, Marie Stopes and others worked. Some tours provide a general introduction; others focus in particular on physics, chemistry, the life sciences or computer science.

There is usually one lunchtime and one evening tour per day: see the tours programme for full details.

Regular museum tours

The Manchester Museum is only a minute’s walk across Oxford Road from the main Congress site, and will be hosting several Congress activities including the Sunday evening opening reception. Museum colleagues will also be offering daily lunchtime tours of the site, and a couple of special visits to the Museum’s herbarium.

Also providing daily tours is the Imperial War Museum North at Trafford Park, where the current ‘Saving Lives’ exhibition charts the course of medical innovation in warfare across a century.

Victoria Henshaw leading a smellwalkSmellwalkers on the scent

More walks

Aside from the regular campus tours, there are longer guided walks throughout the week, mostly exploring the centre of the city and its surroundings. In addition to the Thursday afternoon walks (described above), on Tuesday we have another opportunity to walk the Peace and Justice trail, and walks by local professional guides devoted to the global industrial phenomenon that was Cottonopolis and the daily life of John Dalton, who used a small corner of Manchester as the launching point for some very big ideas. On Wednesday, we'll be applying a different sense to the same streets, with the innovative Manchester smellwalk!

More site visits

There are also specially arranged tours and visits throughout the week to sites including Ordsall Hall Gardens, the Working Class Movement Library, the People’s History Museum and the Victorian Street re-creation at Salford Museum.

One particular attraction is the heritage bus trip to the Museum of Transport (Wednesday): an authentic period double-decker bus will carry you from University Place to the Museum and back.

More information and reservations

The Congress Events Desk will be open during the daytime on the ground floor of University Place, the main Congress venue, to answer queries, arrange reservations, and sell tickets for the charged events. You can also raise any questions in advance by email: tours@ichstm2013.com

Drop-in events and regular tours

Beyond these timetabled events, a number of local museums and libraries have made display materials specially available to Congress-goers on a drop-in basis. Details are listed here.

Specialist groups’ activities

Several DHST Commissions and other organisations have taken the opportunity of the Congress to organise programmes of satellite or co-ordinating events:

The Newcomen Society for the History of Engineering and Technology has planned an extensive residential touring programme focusing on the iconic industrial heritage of Manchester and the surrounding region, timed to take place across the week before the Congress. Details are provided on the information page maintained by Heritage of Industry, the specialist travel agency which is organising the trip on behalf of Newcomen.

The Scientific Instrument Commission has its own programme of site visits during the Congress: for further details, please contact the SIC.

The Geological Society History of Geology Group in association with INHIGEO is planning three field trips around the Congress: further details are here.

Exploring on your own

The region around Manchester is very rich in possibilities, from picturesque country houses to an unparalleled industrial heritage to the geological features of the nearby Peak District.

For those who are unfamiliar with the local attractions, we are developing a list of Things to see and do on this site. The Visit Manchester and Enjoy England sites may provide more general inspiration.