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Gentlemanly professionals within the Civil Service : scientists as insiders during the interwar period

Chaston, Philip (1997) Gentlemanly professionals within the Civil Service : scientists as insiders during the interwar period. Doctor of Engineering (EngDoc) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85979) (KAR id:85979)


In this thesis I examine the relationships between the scientific adviser and the civil service during the interwar period, with particular emphasis upon the gentlemanly status and values that eased the entrance of outsider scientists into the world of professional administration. I study how gentlemanly values became a constituent of professional identity for the scientist through inculcation in the public school system and how they formed a shared system of values and assumptions that allowed professional elites to communication with each other. This gentlemanly culture formed the foundation for the personal networks of scientists and administrators that directed interwar scientific research.

Chapter two examines how gentlemanly values moulded the professional identity of the elite scientist by following the careers of selected scientists through their public schools. Chapter three extends this analysis to their lives at Oxbridge and widens the discussion to show how gentlemanly values moulded the professional demands of the scientific community during the First World War. This study of gentlemanly professionalism is completed in chapter four through a) examining how the Athenaeum Club was able to adapt to the rise of a professionalised society by offering a private site for meetings amongst the metropolitan professions and b) through a prosopographical study of declared members of the Athenaeum Club in the Royal Society of London to construct a picture of part of the scientific elite.

The last four chapters contain case studies that present gentlemanly values and the Athenaeum Club within the context of interwar politics and the civil service. Chapters seven and eight examine the professional conflicts between the Medical Research Council and the Royal Colleges through the meetings of the Athenaeum Club that negotiated the establishment of the Radium Beam Therapy Research Board. Chapters nine and ten examine the workings of the Tizard Committee and the development of radar within their political context. The shared values of the scientists and their rift with Professor Lindemann stemmed from his unwillingness to respect and conforms to the professional practices demanded from committee members.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Engineering (EngDoc))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85979
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Uncontrolled keywords: History of science; Athenaeum club; Royal Society; status; scientists
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
L Education > LA History of education
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:23 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 18:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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