The articulation of technicians' work in a laboartory division of labor (Barley 1994)

Defining a technician

There are similarities between the roles of technicians across all fields from the arts and theatre to engineering and science. So, it should be possible to create one definition to cover all technicians. This piece is the hunt for that definition – it is also still a work in progress.

Otto Baumbach in 1928

Otto Baumbach

Otto Baumbach (1882-1966) was a glass blower whose work in Manchester was vital to Nobel Laureate Ernest Rutherford.

Cover of the technicians blue book. Thank you to Mel Leitch from the University of Newcastle for sending me this copy.

The technicians’ Blue Book

In 1990 the Blue Book was introduced in an attempt to give university technicians a promotions structure. Here is a short history – I would love to hear from anyone with more information.

As a technician, does this diagram feel familiar?

The Technician Question

“Do I count as a technician?” I was asked this question by someone wanting to join the Technicians’ Network. As we are an inclusive group I said “Of course you can join, the more the merrier” and so avoided the question as I didn’t have an answer. In an attempt to find one I decided to set about inventing a test to answer this question once and for all.