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psstein last won the day on September 15 2019

psstein had the most liked content!


About psstein

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  • Location
    East Coast USA
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    MA, now in Private Sector

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  1. I agree. When you're in a relatively small subfield, it's a different story than someone in arguably the largest field in the US.
  2. If you are at all interested in academia after you finish your PhD, don't bother with online programs. They're not worth it.
  3. UCL is phenomenal for history of the physical sciences/history of chemistry. They've staked their reputation as a program on those two elements and, for the most part, done very well. One of the foremost historians of chemistry today, Catherine Jackson, has her PhD from UCL. So if you were in that area at all, I'd say go for UCL. However, their department is very weak outside of those areas and has a bit of a slant towards STS (which isn't what everyone wants). On another note, Manchester seems to have quite a good relationship with the Wellcome Trust, which definitely can't hurt as you
  4. What is your long-term goal? UCL has practically zero interest in history of medicine (they've managed to completely exorcise the ghost of the Wellcome Unit) and I think getting competent supervision would be a significant challenge. With that said, I would try to determine the outcomes for each program. If one program is pumping graduates to Oxbridge or other high quality programs, and the other isn't, then the answer is clear.
  5. It's summer, so many faculty are checking email infrequently at best. Don't be too discouraged if you don't get a reply, just try again in the Fall.
  6. Public universities sometimes use it for funding decisions, in terms of who gets a more prestigious package.
  7. This is a good place to start from. You've honestly outlined a lifetime of work, which is good (in the sense of having quite a lot to look at), but bad in the sense of needing to narrow down further. You might also want to look at James Colgrove's State of Immunity: The Politics of Vaccination in Twentieth-Century America, as well as Karen Walloch's The Antivaccine Heresy: Jacobson v. Massachusetts and the Troubled History of Compulsory Vaccination in the United States.
  8. I'd encourage you to become a little bit more specific in the way you articulate your interests and research topics. What, specifically, about the anti-vax movement in the 19th/20th century interests you? What years are you going to examine most closely? As you know, anti-vax is a very diverse movement over time, ranging from religious (and some medical) objections in the 19th century to the crackpot fringe (Lyndon LaRouche and the like) in the 20th century. How do you see this interacting with other areas, such as the history of religion, or the history of social movements? Also, please
  9. I'm happy to go into greater detail in PMs, but you should definitely read some of the major journals like Bulletin for the History of Medicine and the historical sections in Public Health Reports.
  10. I think the most important thing for you to do would be to understand and articulate where your interests fall in the wider literature and what's already been done. I know, for example, that there's quite a lot of work about the development of mortality tables and John Graunt's demography in 17th century London. I don't know if that work exists in a US context, but it wouldn't shock me if it did. Something else worth considering is the connections between history of risk and how corporations have attempted to mitigate risk (via technology, labor practices, and so on). Beyond that advice,
  11. I can answer a few of your questions here. 1) No, there aren't. The market is so horrific that Harvard/Yale graduates are fortunate to get R2/R3/PUI jobs. In the past, regional universities had a very strong reputation for placing PhD students into places like Kent State, SUNY Albany, or a myriad of other state/regional institutions. That market, post-2008, and especially post-2014, is drying up. I don't think the figure of "50% of all colleges will close in 10 years" is correct, but there's undoubtedly a significant contraction occurring. Your intuition and information is 100% correct. T
  12. I know faculty like that as well. I had one professor who didn't take students for 5+ years, because of how brutal the job market in his sub-specialty looked. It's flawed reasoning, but I also think it's very realistic. The market isn't likely to get much better. University education is fundamentally changing in the US, and not for the better.
  13. @TMP's response is exceptional, so I'll use it as a springboard. 1) Very broadly speaking, the majority of programs enrolling 15+ students a year are state universities which depend heavily upon graduate student labor (between TA, RA, admin, and lecturer appointments). Wisconsin, Michigan, and several others fall within that category. Bluntly, I don't think it's a good model, especially in this atmosphere of belt tightening and financial insecurity after one of the most impactful pandemics in a century. The best examples I can think of with your "smaller" model are dedicated history of sc
  14. Also worth noting that the vast majority of historians of science teach (e.g.) early modern France with history of science on the side. There aren't too many dedicated historians of science outside departments like Princeton/Harvard/Yale/Hopkins. To OP: you're asking basically two questions, one is about the history of public health/medicine and the other is about the development of a social/cultural movement. Asking questions about the development of a vaccine (how did they acquire the materials, how was it tested, why did it fail, how did public health officials react, and so on) are qu
  15. I know this isn't the advice you want to hear, but PLEASE consider using your accounting degree to its fullest extent. Your chances of secure, long-term employment with that degree are drastically better than those chances (especially in academia) after earning a history PhD. As @AfricanusCrowther hinted, the academic job market is in disarray from COVID-19, but has gotten progressively worse since 2008. Also, bluntly, I think you're too far behind the eight ball here. The only thing you really have going for you is your knowledge of Spanish. Outside of that, without a clear research
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