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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


PhD student

College: Newnham
Supervisor: Hasok Chang
Advisor: Simon Schaffer
Thesis: Influence, Instrument and Atmospheric Electricity (1850-1930)
Research interests: The physical sciences from the 19th century onwards, atmospheric sciences, scientific instruments, general philosophy of science, scientific progress



Duncan, K. "Between the Mountain, the Meadow, the Calm, and the Storm: Exner’s and Elster and Geitel’s Electrical Atmospheres." Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 53, no. 4 (2023): 349-388

Chang, Hasok and Duncan, KS., and Kim, Kihyang, and Paik, Seoung-Hey, "Electrolysis: What Textbooks Don't Tell Us" Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 2020, 21, 806-822

Duncan, KS., et al. "Characterisation of p-type ZnS: Cu transparent conducting films fabricated by high-temperature pulsed laser deposition." arXiv (2017)



I supervise general introductions to the History of Science, and specialist papers on 19th and 20th century physical and environmental sciences. 



  • Integrating HPS Reading Group (2021-)
  • Supervisors' Coffee (2020-2021)
  • HPS Graduate Workshop (2018-2019)
  • "How Scientific Objects End. A Workshop." (December 2018)



  • MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science (University of Cambridge)
  • MSci in Physics and Philosophy (University of Bristol)





  • Royal Institution Freer Fellow (2021-2022)
  • Gerda Henkel Stiftung Scholar (2019-2022)
  • The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust Grant Holder (2019, 2020)
  • George Fentham Birmingham Charity Postgraduate Award (2018)
  • YLCE Postgraduate Award (2018)
  • Isaac Newton Masters Scholarship, University of Cambridge (2016)
  • Rausing, Williamson and Lipton Studentship, University of Cambridge (2016)
  • Cicely Coulson Prize for most promising final year student in Single or Joint Honours philosophy, University of Bristol (2016)