About

I write about the history of science.

I am currently working on a book about the history of systems thinking. I am also a research associate on the Leverhulme-funded Making Climate History project at the University of Cambridge, where I am researching the emergence of the study of climate as an interdisciplinary science in the 1960s and 1970s, with a special focus on paleoclimatology.

My most recent is Waters of the World: The Story of the Scientists Who Unravelled the Mysteries of our Seas, Glaciers and Atmosphere–and Made the Planet Whole (Scribe UK/University of Chicago Press, 2019). It tells the stories of the scientists who have uncovered the mysteries of our oceans, atmosphere, icesheets and glaciers, and in doing so, helped us see the earth as an interconnected globe. It was awarded an inaugural Public Scholar grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the US in 2015.

I have also written about the history of Isaac Newton’s manuscripts, epidemics and global health policy (back in 2010 we knew a lot), and about Victorian fishermen and risk.

I studied History and Literature of America at Harvard College as an undergraduate and have an MSc from the London Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine (Imperial College London, UCL and the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine). I have a PhD from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, where I was a Gates Scholar, and have held research positions at the London School of Economics and STEPS Centre at the Institute for Development Studies and SPRU.

From 2016 to 2021 I was a trustee of the Science Museum Group. I am currently a trustee of The Oxford Trust.