The Faculty is sorry to announce the sad passing of Professor John Pickstone, aged 69, following a short illness. Professor Pickstone was one of the nation’s most important historians of science, technology, and medicine, and worked tirelessly to champion Manchester’s heritage. He was founding director of the Faculty’s Centre of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM). He also founded the Manchester Histories Festival, which went on to become the leading event of its kind in the UK.
Born and raised in Burnley, Lancashire, his education took him to Cambridge, London, Ontario, and Minnesota. He returned to the North West to work for UMIST’s Department of History of Science and Technology, specialising in the history of the region’s hospitals. In 1985, he moved to the Victoria University of Manchester where he established CHSTM. He directed the centre until 2002, when he became a research professor.
His most recent work focused on the history of modern medicine and medical technology, especially the NHS. The Manchester Histories Festival he founded in 2009 has been a great success and a regular celebration of Manchester’s heritage. The year’s event will start on March 21. Current Director of CHSTM, Professor Michael Worboys, said:
“We are devastated that John, our good friend and colleague, and a world renowned historian of science, technology and medicine, has died. He was a great champion of the heritage of the University, the City and the North West, working tirelessly to inform the public and the academic world that we can learn from what has happened in the past. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”