Dr Coreen McGuire

I completed my PhD on the measurement of hearing loss in the British Telephone System at the University of Leeds in 2016. Following this, I took up a postdoctoral position at the University of Bristol, where I developed my research by exploring the measurement of respiratory disability as part of the Life of Breath Project. My book, Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal: Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period is a significant contribution to the history of medicine, science and technology studies, and disability history. One reviewer of the manuscript wrote: Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal ‘is deeply and imaginatively researched’ and ‘makes compelling connections between hearing and breathing, while emphasizing historical contingency in the interwar period, the biology and social context of the two, and the relationship between standardization, measurement, and disability’. My first article in the British Journal of the History of Science was co-authored with Dr Jaipreet Virdi and discussed British scientist Dr Phyllis Kerridge’s contributions to science in Britain. Our collaboration has since developed into a full monograph project on Kerridge which has been put under contract with Johns Hopkins Press for publication in 2023. I have won several notable awards, including the Scottish History Society Alasdair Ross Prize for archival research and the Disability History Association prize for outstanding article or book chapter. In September 2020, I commenced working for Durham University as Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History.

I am interested in public engagement, and investigating how history and historical objects can be used to facilitate improved communications between practitioners, patients, and academics. Previously, I have been involved with outreach projects with the Thackray Medical Museum, the Museum of HSTM, the BeCurious Festival, and recently appeared on Radio 4 women’s hour to discuss the importance of unknown women to science, specifically pioneering audiologist Dr Phyllis Kerridge.

Email me at coreen.mcguire@durham.ac.uk

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