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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Affiliated Scholar

Research interests: Practices of natural history; history of nineteenth-century popular science, science education, and working-class engagement with science; horticulture, medicine, and consumption in the eighteenth century.

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Selected publications

'Specimens of observation: Edward Hobson's Musci Britannici', The Whipple Museum of the History of Science: objects and investigations to celebrate the 75th anniversary of R. S. Whipple's gift to the University of Cambridge, edited by Liba Taub, Joshua Nall, and Frances Willmoth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 101–18

'Containers and collections', in Worlds of Natural History, edited by H. Curry, N. Jardine, J. A. Secord, and E. C. Spary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 289–303

'Talbot's first lens: botanical vision as an exact science', in William Henry Fox Talbot: Beyond Photography, edited by Chitra Ramalingam, Mirjam Brusius, and Katrina Dean (New Haven: Yale University Press, series in 'Studies in British Art', 2013), pp. 41–66

'Elizabeth Gaskell's social vision: the natural histories of Mary Barton', in Uncommon Contexts: Encounters between Science and Literature 1800–1939, edited by Ben Marsden, Hazel Hutchinson, and Ralph O'Connor (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), pp. 125–43

Artisan Naturalists (under contract to University of Chicago Press: in progress)

The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White, edited and introduced (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 2016)

'Pressed into Service: Specimens, Space, and Seeing in Botanical Practice', Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science, edited by David N. Livingstone and Charles W.J. Withers (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2011): 283–310

'Coming to Attention: A Commonwealth of Observers during the Napoleonic Wars', Histories of Scientific Observation, edited by Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2011): 421–444

'"La connaissance de l'un devient la connaissance de tous": participation des artisans à la botanique anglaise au début du XIXe siècle', Des Sciences Citoyennes? La question de l'amateur dans les sciences naturalistes, edited by Florian Charvolin, André Micoud and Lynn K. Nyhart (La Tour-d'Aigues: Editions de l'Aube, 2007): 90–107

'Hotbeds and Cool Fruits: The Unnatural Cultivation of the Eighteenth-Century Cucumber', Medicine, Madness and Social History: Essays in Honour of Roy Porter, edited by Roberta Bivins and John Pickstone (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007): 90–104

'Nature's Treasures: Dawson Turner's Botanical Collections', Dawson Turner, A Norfolk Antiquary and his Remarkable Family, edited by Nigel Goodman (Chichester: Phillimore, 2007): 43–66

'Elizabeth Gaskell and the Artisan Naturalists of Manchester', The Gaskell Society Journal 19 (2005): 34–51

'"Be What You Would Seem To Be": Samuel Smiles, Thomas Edward and the Making of a Working-Class Scientific Hero', Science in Context 16 (2003): 147–173

'Botany on a Plate: Pleasure and the Power of Pictures in Promoting Early Nineteenth-Century Scientific Knowledge', Isis 93 (2002): 28–57

'Les pubs du Lancashire: La botanique, fierte des artisans', La Recherche, 300th issue (July–August 1997): 58–62

'Artisan Botany', Cultures of Natural History, edited by Nicholas Jardine, James A. Secord and Emma C. Spary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

'Corresponding Interests: Artisans and Gentlemen in Nineteenth-Century Natural History', British Journal for the History of Science 27 (1994): 383–408

'Science in the Pub: Artisan Botanists in Early Nineteenth-Century Lancashire', History of Science 32 (1994): 269–315