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Early Careerist Profile – Courtney Thompson November 3, 2014

Posted by bdcollins in Early Career, Graduate Student, Profile.
How did you become interested in history of science?
I originally intended to be a Psychology major in college, until I took an introductory lecture course on the History of Psychiatry. I realized that I was much more interested in the history of the field than being a practitioner. I switched my major, and the rest is (pun intended) history.
Courtney Thompson, Yale University

Courtney Thompson, Yale University

How did you get involved in the GECC?

While attending a few HSS meetings and getting to know the GECC members, I found the various GECC opportunities (especially the mentorship tea and the CV review) to be really useful. I didn’t just want to benefit from GECC, I wanted to help make them happen.
What has your experience been like during your term?
Bridget and I have a great working relationship, and she has been very helpful in setting me up. The GECC officers are wonderful collaborators, and we have been working together to make sure our graduate and early career colleagues have a great time in Chicago.
What is something you have learned about the HSS through being an officer that others members may not know about the society?
Conference planning is even more difficult than I would have expected! Wrangling a large group of people, finding spaces for events, and working out timing and budget are increasingly challenging as the size of a group increases. I have new appreciation for the organizers, especially as we enter the busiest time of the academic year.
What is one of your current toughest professional challenges?
My current challenge is to find a balance between my daily writing and research schedule and the challenges of the job market, along with my other commitments, like GECC.
Courtney Thompson is a Ph.D. candidate in the program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University. Her dissertation, “Criminal Minds: Law, Medicine, and the Phrenological Impulse in America, 1830-1890,” explores the development of medico-legal approaches to crime in nineteenth-century America with a particular focus on the influence of phrenology. She will be presenting a paper on her current research at the upcoming HSS meeting in Chicago. This paper, “‘Directly at War with the Gallows’: The Prison and Phrenological Criminal Science,” will be presented as a part of a panel she organized on “The Institution as Laboratory.” She currently serves as the Mentorship Officer for the Graduate and Early Career Caucus. 


1. Rachel Thompson - April 10, 2015

Courtney you look a lot like your father, you have her eyes.

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