BSHS Council

Council is the elected governing body of the BSHS. It consists of five Officers and nine Ordinary Members, who meet three times a year to discuss and approve Society business. Terms of office are as laid out in the Policies and Procedures (available to members by a request to the [email protected].) Nominations for successors to outgoing members of Council are sought from the whole membership each spring; new members of Council are elected at an Extraordinary General Meeting, held in the summer of each year and open to all BSHS members.

This page lists the members of the Society’s governing Council and other committees.

Officers of Council

Dr Tim Boon
Dr Tim BoonPresident
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).
Dr Patricia Fara
Dr Patricia FaraVice-President
Patricia Fara has a degree in physics from Oxford University and (as a mature student) a PhD in History of Science from London University. She is based in the History and Philosophy of Science department at Cambridge University, where she is a Fellow of Clare College. 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 books include: Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), An Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire (2003), Pandora’s Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004), and Erasmus Darwin: Sex, Science and Serendipity (2012). In addition, her Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science (2005) is designed for teenagers. Her most recent book is ‘A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War’ (2018).
Dr Rebekah Higgitt
Dr Rebekah HiggittTreasurer
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.
Dr Chiara Ambrosio
Dr Chiara AmbrosioHonorary Secretary
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.
Professor Charlotte Sleigh
Professor Charlotte SleighEditor of BJHS
Charlotte Sleigh is Professor of Science Humanities at the University of Kent and her research concerns the sciences where they intersect with history, literature, art and communication. One major area of her professional interests encompasses the history of natural history and animal studies. Her books on this topic include Ant (Reaktion, 2003); Six Legs Better (Johns Hopkins, 2007); Frog (Reaktion, 2010); Cosmopolitan Animals (Palgrave, 2015); and The Paper Zoo (British Library/Chicago, 2016). A second theme of Charlotte’s research concerns the historical and textual relationships between science and writing. Her first book on the topic, Literature and Science, was published by Palgrave in 2010, and she is currently working on another, Engineering Fiction, about science fiction and its fans in interwar Britain. In more recent years Charlotte has developed her interest in art and science, collaborating with a number of artists to produce shows including Chain Reaction! (Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, 2013) and Biological Hermeneutics (Chetham’s Library, Manchester, 2017). She co-founded the successful Masters programme in science communication at Kent, in which context she has developed and taught modules on science, ethics and controversy, visualising science, and knowledge in the ‘real world’.

Ordinary Members of Council

Professor Pratik Chakrabarti
Professor Pratik ChakrabartiUniversity of Manchester
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)
Dr Isabelle CharmantierLinnean Society of London
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.
Dr Martha Fleming
Dr Martha FlemingBritish Museum
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 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:
Dr Anna Marie Roos
Dr Anna Marie RoosUniversity of Lincoln
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 will be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls, Oxford. She is on the library committee at the Royal Society, and on Council for the Society of the History of Natural History. Currently, Anna Marie is working on a biography of Royal Society president Martin Folkes, as well as a book for Reaktion Press entitled: Goldfish. She also continues to edit the correspondence of Martin Lister for publication (Brill, 2014-2020).
Dr Elizabeth Haines
Dr Elizabeth HainesScience Museum / University of Bristol
Elizabeth Haines is an interdisciplinary scholar working for the Science Museum and the University of Bristol. Her work in these institutions reflects her background in Fine Art, and an interest in the role of object-collections in historical research practices. A second strand of her research focuses on the history of cartography in twentieth-century colonial Africa, tracing the use of map documents in both governance and law.

Elizabeth has a commitment to bringing research to the public and engaging the public in research, and experience of exploring historical scholarship through a variety of public-oriented formats including film screenings, radio broadcast, exhibitions and theatre.

Jemma Houghton
Jemma HoughtonUniversity of Manchester
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 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.
Dr Sadiah Qureshi
Dr Sadiah QureshiUniversity of Birmingham
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. She is currently working on her next book, provisionally entitled Vanished: Episodes in the History of Extinction, for Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin. She joined the BSHS council as an ordinary member in 2017.

Advisory Members of Council

  • Conferences Committee Chair: Dr Adam Mosley, University of Swansea
  • Communications Officer: Nicola Sugden, University of Manchester
  • Viewpoint Editor: Hazel Blair, University of Lausanne
  • Archivist: Rebecca Fallas, University of Leeds

Executive Secretary

  • Society administration in general is dealt with on a paid basis by the Executive Secretary, who plays a crucial role in the running of the Council, and attends its meetings.
  • The Executive Secretary also supports the work of the Committees as appropriate.
  • Contact: [email protected]

Outreach & Engagement Committee (OEC)

The Outreach and Engagement Committee replaced the BSHS Education Section in 2005. It is responsible for planning and developing outreach work in a variety of formal and informal public contexts. Click here to read more about the OEC and its work.

Chair: Dr Elizabeth Haines – University of Bristol ([email protected])

  • Rachel Boon, Science Museum, London and University of Manchester
  • Dr Anne Hanley, Birkbeck University of London (profile)
  • Dr Allan Jones, Open University
  • Katherine McAlpine, Queen Mary, University of London (profile)
  • Dr Alison Moulds, University of Roehampton and Queen Mary, University of London
  • Nicola Sugden, University of Manchester (profile)
  • Dr James Sumner, University of Manchester (profile)
  • Dr Sophie Waring, Science Museum, London

Conferences Committee

The Conferences Committee organises the Society’s conferences, colloquia, seminars and other events, and liaises with other societies and institutions on joint and co-located programme activities. It has the following members:

  • Chair: Dr Adam Mosley, University of Swansea
  • Secretary: Dr Samuel Robinson, University of York
  • Programme Co-Ordinator: Frank James, Royal Institution/UCL
  • Postgradaute Member: Sebestian Kroupa, Cambridge
  • Dr Ben Marsden, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr. Sabine Clarke, University of York

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee meets annually to scrutinise the Society’s annual accounts and the management of its investments, and provides general advice to the Treasurer. It is chaired by the Treasurer (Rebekah Higgit), and includes the following members:

  • Dr Rebekah Higgit (Chair)
  • Dr Patricia Fara, Cambridge University
  • Dr Tim Boon, Science Museum Group
  • Dr Chiara Ambrosio, University College London
  • Professor Pratik Chakrabarti, University of Manchester
  • Dr Sadiah Qureshi, University of Birmingham

Grants Committee

  • Chair (VP of BSHS): Dr Patricia Fara, Cambridge University
  • Dr Rebekah Higgitt, University of Kent
  • Dr Sadiah Qureshi, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Isabelle Charmantier, Linnean Society of London

Complete list of BSHS presidents

Details of previous BSHS committees are archived here: 2014-152013-142012-13 | 2011-12 | 2010-11 | 2009-10 | 2008-9 | 2007-8 | 2006-7 | 2005-6 | 2004-5 | 2003-4 | 2002-3