The British Society for the History of Science Ltd

A company limited by guarantee and registered in England No 562208, Registered Charity No 258854

Registered Address: The Union Building, 51-59 Rose Lane, Norwich, NR11 1BY


Notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary* General Meeting of the Society will be held on

May 30th at the Science Museum Dana Research Centre and Library, Science Museum, 165 Queen’s Gate, London, SW7 5HD at 18:15 (*ie, one that dispenses with laying before a general meeting the accounts and reports of the company – these having been approved by Council and distributed some time previously)


Please note: there is no access to this room via the Science Museum. Please come to the Queens Gate entrance.

The Meeting

The meeting is called under Section 17 of the Articles of Association primarily for the purposes of electing a new Council of Management and providing an opportunity for any member to raise matters of Society business.  New members may also be elected.  A formal agenda will be available at the meeting and copies may be had earlier on request to the Society’s Executive Secretary.

Council Nominations for 2018-2019  (Trustees and directors of the company)


President Dr Tim Boon, VicePresident Dr Patricia Fara, Secretary Dr Chiara Ambrosio, Treasurer Dr Rebekah Higgitt*, Journal Editor Professor Charlotte Sleigh.

Ordinary Members

Professor, Pratik Chakrabarti*, Dr Isabelle Charmentier*, Dr Sabine Clarke*, Dr Martha Fleming, Dr Liz Haines, Jemma Houghton*, Professor Robert Ilife, Dr Sadiah Qureshi, Dr Anna Marie Roos.


Nominations by Members

Members of the Society may also nominate Officers and Ordinary Members of Council for 2018-2019. These nominations require the signatures of five members of the Society and the agreement of the nominee to stand, and must be accompanied by a biographical statement of the proposed candidate (50-100 words). Such nominations must reach the Society’s Secretary at the address given above by 1st May.

New Members

A list of new members will be displayed outside the meeting room at least 30 minutes before the meeting is due to start. Any member wishing to object to a new member may do so when this item is dealt with during the meeting.


Biographical Statements by Members Nominated as

Officers and Ordinary Members of Council for 2018-2019


Chiara Ambrosio is a Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at the Department of Science and Technology Studies (UCL). Her research focuses on representation across art and science, with a specific focus on nineteenth and twentieth century visual culture. Her published works combine philosophical accounts of representation with historical investigations into particular modes of image-making, such as diagrams and photographs, and the debates around their epistemological status at the turn of the century. The conceptual framework underpinning her research draws substantially on the pragmatist philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, and she is currently working on Peirce’s history and historiography of science.


Tim Boon, Head of Research & Public History for the Science Museum Group, is a historian and curator of the public culture of science. He is currently (part time) Visiting Cheney Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Culture at the University of Leeds. His published research (the books Films of Fact  (2008) and Material Culture and Electronic Sound (co-edited with Frode Weium, 2013) and more than 30 papers) is mainly concerned with the history of science in documentary films, television, museums and, latterly, music. He has contributed to the exhibitions Health Matters (1994), Making the Modern World (2000) and Oramics to Electronica (2011). Arising from his historical research and his curatorial practice, he has developed strong interests in the public history of science, technology, engineering and medicine. He has acted as Principal- or Co-Investigator on several research projects on behalf of the Science Museum. More broadly, he is responsible for developing the Museum’s research and public history programme, and has oversight of the Science Museums & Archives AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership. He has experience of BSHS Council from two previous periods of service (1997-2000, 2008-2012).

Pratik Chakrabarti (Chair in History of Science and Medicine, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester) has contributed widely to the history of science, medicine, and global and imperial history, spanning South Asian, Caribbean and Atlantic history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.  His current future research is in the convergence of histories of science, environment, human antiquity, and deep history. He has recently completed his new research monograph, Inscriptions of Nature: Geology and the Sciences of Antiquity. The book investigates the discovery of the geological past of Indian subcontinent in its philological, anthropological and cultural dimensions and its links with Indian antiquity.

He has published four sole-authored research monographs on history of science and medicine. These are Western Science in Modern India: Metropolitan Methods, Colonial Practices (2004); Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century (2010); Bacteriology in British India: Laboratory Medicine and the Tropics (2012) and Medicine and Empire, 1600-1960 (2014). In addition, he has published numerous research articles in leading international journals on history of science, medicine and imperialism, as well as chapters in edited volumes. He is also one of the editors of the journal Social History of Medicine (OUP)


Isabelle Charmentier After a few years working as a bookseller, Isabelle Charmantier acquired a PhD in History of Science from the University of Sheffield (2008). Her post-doc at the University of Exeter (2009-2013) focused on the writing technologies of the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). While retraining as an archivist, she was employed by the Linnean Society of London to catalogue Linnaeus’s manuscripts. After 18 months as Collections Manager at the Freshwater Biological Association, she is now Deputy Collections Manager at the Linnean Society of London. Her research interests include the history of ornithology, botany and natural history in general from the 16th to the 18th century, as well as the history of writing technologies. She has written numerous research articles on the subject.


Sabine Clarke has a PhD in the history of science from the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College. After completing her doctorate she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship which she undertook at the University of Oxford, before moving to the University of York where she is currently Lecturer in Modern History. Her research is concerned with the rise of scientific research as an activity deemed central to science by government and business and she has explored the relationship between research and colonial development in the British Empire after 1940. Her book, Science at the End of Empire: Experts and the Development of the British Caribbean, 1940-1962 is published by MUP later this year. She is currently working on the history of insecticides in Britain’s tropical empire.

Patricia Fara has a degree in physics from Oxford University and (as a mature student) a PhD in History of Science from London University. A Fellow of Clare College, Canbridge, she teaches in the History and Philosophy of Science department. Her major research specialities are science in eighteenth-century England and scientific imagery, but she also writes and lectures on women in science both now and in the past. A regular contributor to radio, TV and general interest journals, she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science. Her Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009) has been translated into nine languages and was awarded the Dingle Prize by the British Society for the History of Science. Her most recent book is A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War (2018). Others include Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), An Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire (2003) and Pandora’s Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004); in addition, her Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science (2005) is designed for teenagers.

Martha Fleming is currently a Senior Research Associate at the British Museum working on a large-scale project about the Enlightenment collections of Sir Hans Sloane. She has held a range of positions in museums and universities including that of Deputy Director of the V&A Research Institute and Programme Director of the Centre for Collections Based Research at the University of Reading. At Copenhagen’s Medical Museion, she was Creative Director of the 2010 Dibner Award winning exhibition Split + Splice: Fragments from the Age of Biomedicine. From 2009 to 2011, she was part of a team developing the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research at the Natural History Museum and Kingston University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She has also worked with London’s Science Museum as well as at the Royal Society, the UK’s science academy. She has held research fellowships at the Lichtenberg Kolleg (University of Göttingen), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), the Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge) and the Materials Library (University College London). She has also co-created, with Lyne Lapointe, large-scale site-specific collaborative exhibitions as an artist in Montreal, New York, London, Madrid and Sao Paulo. She is frequently invited to speak on research and practice that conjoins history of science, technology and medicine and museum and collection contexts. Further information is available on her website: www.marthafleming.net.

Elizabeth Haines is research associate at the University of Bristol on‘Bridging a Difficult Past’ a project that is sounding out futures for collaborative research in the arts and humanities on the former collections of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum. She is also a research associate at the Science Museum on ‘Energy in Store’, setting up discussion about the role of stored collections in the research practice of lay historians of technology. In her PhD she investigated the role of cartography in colonial governance in Southern Africa. She is continuing research on how mapping was used in the region in the twentieth century as evidence for policy and legal decisions. Her commitment to public involvement and engagement in research has taken numerous forms – from designing and assessing participatory research projects, to curating film screenings, organising discussion events and producing radio and theatre. She has also been a member of the BSHS Outreach and Education Committee since 2012, and Chair since 2017.

Rebekah Higgitt is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent. She received her PhD from Imperial College London in 2004 and undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh on the history and geography of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Between 2008 and 2013 she was Curator of the History of Science at the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory Greenwich. Her research, writing and public engagement activities have focused broadly on the relationship between science and society in 17th-19th-century Britain. This has included work on scientific biography, the material culture of science and its display in museums, and the relationship between science and government. Her books include Recreating Newton (2007), on 19th-century biographies of Isaac Newton, and Finding Longitude (2014), with Richard Dunn.

Jemma Houghton is a PhD student at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester. Her research explores the changing role and perceptions of plants in British pharmacy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Jemma attained a Master’s degree in 2017 from the University of Manchester. Her thesis examined materia medica education in Britain during the late nineteenth century with particular consideration towards the differences between metropolitan and provincial institutions. She also studied Biology with Science and Society with Industrial/Professional Experience at undergraduate level at the same university. As part of this degree she spent a year working in the Herbarium of the Manchester Museum.

Robert Ilife is currently Professor of History of Science at the University of Oxford and co-editor of Annals of Science. Previously he was director of the AHRC Newton Papers Project from 1999-2015 and has been a General Editor of the Newton Project since 1998.  He has published widely on the history of Early Modern/ Enlightenment science, especially on the work of Isaac Newton, and a monograph on Newton’s religious work, entitled Priest of Nature was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Dr Sadiah Qureshi is a Senior lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham. She joined in 2011 after a completing her education and postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge. At the broadest level, she is interested in modern histories of race, science and empire. Her first book, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Chicago, 2011) explored the importance of displayed peoples for histories of race and the emergence of anthropology. It was joint-winner of Sonya Rudikoff Award for best first book published in Victorian Studies in 2011 (awarded 2013). In 2012, the Leverhulme Trust awarded her a Philip Leverhulme Prize for Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History in recognition of her outstanding and internationally recognised research. She is currently working on a history of extinction in the modern world.

Anna Marie Roos is a Reader in the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Lincoln.  Anna Marie came to Lincoln from Oxford, where she was the Lister Research Fellow.  She is an early modernist, specialising in the history of natural history, the history of chemistry, and the history of the Royal Society.  Anna Marie has published three monographs in the history of science including Web of Nature: Martin Lister (1639-1712), the first arachnologist (Brill, 2011), as well as scientific papers concerning the use of historical sources in the solving of taxonomic controversies.  She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 2017 was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls, Oxford.   She is on the library committee at the Royal Society, and currently is working on a biography of Royal Society president Martin Folkes for Oxford University Press, as well as a book for Reaktion Press entitled: Goldfish.  She also continues to edit the correspondence of Martin Lister for publication (Brill, 2015-2020), volume one recently winning the John Thackray Medal.  Anna Marie is the PI of the AHRC Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collection in the Early Modern Academy.

Charlotte Sleigh is Professor in the Science Humanities at the University of Kent. Charlotte’s research interests encompass the life sciences over the past 150 years, with an on-going emphasis on animals – her books on this topic are Ant, (Reaktion, 2003); Six Legs Better: A Cultural History of Myrmecology (Johns Hopkins, 2007); Frog, (Reaktion, 2012); Cosmopolitan Animals (co-editor, Palgrave, 2015) and The Paper Zoo (British Library/Chicago, 2016).  Besides this, she has written widely on the historical and textual relationships between science and writing (Literature and Science, Palgrave 2010) and twentieth-century history (Scientific Governance in Britain, 1914-79, MUP 2016, co-edited with Don Leggett). She is editor of the British Journal for the History of Science. More recently, Charlotte has begun to develop her long-standing interest in science communication, co-founding a successful Masters programme in the subject at Kent (2008) and curating the science/art project Chain Reaction which showed in 2013.  Her current projects include a co-edited collection on twentieth-century science in Britain, an AHRC-funded sci-art project (Metamorphoses) and a monograph on literature and science in the interwar period with the working title Engineering Fiction. She is Director of the Kent Centre for the History of the Sciences and has supervised a number of PhD students on a wide variety of topics.



The AGM will be followed by a special event: The Invention of Nature: Andrea Wulf in Conversation”, part of the Science Museum’s May Lates series.


Location: IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Times: 19:30-20:30

Cost: £5 (£3 for BSHS members using the code ‘BSHSdiscount)



Please note that Lates is a 18+ event, anyone under 18’s will not be admitted under any circumstances.