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Dissertation and essay supervisors

This is a list of people who are willing to supervise Part II dissertations, Part III essays and dissertations, and MPhil essays and dissertations, together with the topics they are prepared to supervise.

Before you contact a potential supervisor, please read the advice about supervision in the appropriate students' guide. Supervisors' contact details can be found on Lookup.

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Teaching Officers

Anna Alexandrova

  • General philosophy of science (including models, causation, laws, explanation, values, feminist epistemology)
  • Philosophy of the social and psychological sciences (including rational choice and game theory applications, philosophy of economics, measurement, psychometrics, policy and social engineering, John Stuart Mill)
  • Topics in ethics and political philosophy (well-being, happiness, paternalism)
  • Topics in recent history of social science

Dissertations previously supervised by Anna Alexandrova

  • Constructing a farmer's almanac of mental moods: Ralph Waldo Emerson's 'New Metaphysics' in 'Natural History of Intellect'
  • Idealisation, capacities and explanation
  • More models, more problems? Philosophical accounts of the use of mutually inconsistent models in science
  • Explanation and idealisation: difference-makers, fictionalisers and compatibility
  • Weighing the world: cost-benefit analyses of the sustainable development goals
  • Why we respect institutions: an evolutionary perspective
  • The relevance of behavioural experiments in political philosophy: Henrich et al.'s cross-cultural studies and idealism in normative theories
  • Open formulae and modelling diagnostics: a general framework for the use of models in experiment design and explanation in economics
  • Standpoint feminist epistemology: the challenge of race and black feminist thought
  • Pragmatism in psychiatric nosology: towards a greater focus on the practical impacts of diagnostic categories

Mary Augusta Brazelton

On leave in Easter Term 2019

Global studies of science and medicine, including:

  • Transnational science and medicine
  • International and global public health
  • History of science and medicine in modern East Asia, especially China
  • Colonial science and medicine
  • Medicine and biomedical research in the 20th century

Dissertations previously supervised by Mary Augusta Brazelton

  • India's polio-free status: a case study in global health politics
  • Joseph Needham and allegations of biological warfare in the Korean War, 1951–3
  • 'To serve the people': Chinese medical diplomacy in Africa during the Cold War
  • Sugar imperialism in the late Qing: Jardine Matheson and the China Sugar Refining Company, 1867–1928

Hasok Chang

On leave in 2018–19

Helen Curry

On leave in 2018–19

Marta Halina

On leave in Lent and Easter Terms 2019

  • Philosophy of cognitive science (psychology, neuroscience, animal cognition, artificial intelligence)
  • Philosophy of biology (model organisms, mechanisms, comparative methods)
  • General philosophy of science (evidence, explanation, models, science and values)

Dissertations previously supervised by Marta Halina

  • Diagnosing anxiety disorder: the idiosyncratic practice of a standardized procedure
  • Progress in psychopathology, step-by-step: ousting a Kuhnian imperative by prescribing epistemic iteration
  • Fear of mice: the case for animal emotions in comparative neuroscience
  • Anthropocentrism and self-awareness
  • Entanglement of explanation and prediction in organic chemistry reaction mechanisms
  • The paradigm of neurodiversity and understanding 'brain difference' in autism

Nick Hopwood

History of medicine and biology since 1800, especially in German-speaking Europe, Britain and the United States; visual communication and the media of science:

  • Reproductive sciences, technologies and medicine, including the still largely unexplored history of in vitro fertilization and other Cambridge innovations and institutions
  • Visual communication and the media of science, e.g. book illustration, icons of evolution, models and other visual aids, microscopical techniques, training for scientific and medical artists, portraits, anatomy museums, exhibitions
  • Other topics in the history of laboratory biology, evolutionary biology and medicine

Dissertations previously supervised by Nick Hopwood

  • Researching the brain: the Corsellis collection at Runwell Hospital in the 1950s
  • 'The London/Baltimore link has been severed': the economies of human gene mapping and mainframe computing at the Moore Clinic, 1955–1973
  • 3/4D foetal imaging and abortion in the British media, 2003–2007
  • Feminist activism and the British controversy over the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera 1970–1985
  • Elimination of surplus cockerels: applying and communicating early Cambridge genetics
  • Rhetorics of rarity in the promises and projects of American genomics, 1990–2016
  • 'Mothers and babies with real problems': defining complicated pregnancies in 1950s to 1980s Britain
  • The visibility of male 'sterility' in British medicine, 1870–1930
  • Reframing 'reform' eugenics: the 1936 depopulation panic and the shifting policies of the British Eugenics Society

Stephen John

On leave in Easter Term 2019

  • Issues in the philosophy of public health (including Evidence Based Medicine, philosophy of epidemiology, justice and public health policy, distribution of healthcare, libertarian paternalism)
  • Science and values (including science funding, the role of values in research, inductive risk, philosophical issues in science communication, risk analysis)
  • Epistemology and ethics (including testimony, the knowledge norm for action)
  • Environmental ethics (including the precautionary principle, environmental value)
  • Medical ethics (including double effect, non-identity problem, euthanasia)

Dissertations previously supervised by Stephen John

  • Hierarchies of evidence – not what the doctors ordered? The case against hierarchies in evidence-based medicine
  • Deontological justifications of intellectual property rights: a critique
  • The ethics of research into changing people's sexual preferences
  • Risk and nuclear power
  • Dying with dignity in Québec: palliative care, moral expertise and the debate on euthanasia
  • Close enough to sufficiency: justifying a limited role for cost-effectiveness analysis in health policy
  • Scientific malpractice at the communication stage – legal and philosophical issues
  • Objectivity and value-free science
  • The sporting body and stories of exclusion: doping and disability
  • An ex ante contractualist approach to Rose's prevention paradox: risk thresholds for cancer screening programmes as a case study
  • Delegating diagnosis to computers: IBM's Watson and the 'responsibility gap'
  • The problem of publication management: is Big Pharma undermining the system of biomedical research publication?
  • Algorithmic profiling of humans: on reassessing Hacking's indifferent and interactive kinds
  • Social epistemology meets science policy: a model driven proposal to test science funding strategies
  • Bridging the 'normative gap': mechanism design and social justice
  • Science and expertise versus the public – a case study and reflections on the case of government nutrition advice

Lauren Kassell

On leave in 2018–19

Tim Lewens

  • Philosophy of biology
  • Philosophical bioethics
  • General topics in the philosophy of science

Dissertations previously supervised by Tim Lewens

  • Dual-inheritance theory and its evolutionary psychology problem
  • Huw Price's critique of object naturalism
  • Treatment versus enhancement: reconstructing the moral import of the distinction using risk and precaution
  • Natural Selection reconsidered
  • Mechanistic explanation without realism
  • Non-genetic inheritance and intergenerational stability in modern evolutionary theory
  • 'Between a rock and a hard place': racial anti-realism as social constructivism de jure or social constructivism de facto
  • Wide-eyed and legless: bodies, body-schemas and the metaphysics of illness
  • On the ethics of CRISPR/Cas9: germlines, genomes and future generations
  • Reconsidering speculation: charting the permissible use of speculative ethics as a preparatory tool for considering future developments in science and technology
  • Biological altruism revisited
  • Can and should moral realism survive evolutionary ethics?
  • Individuality in the lab and in the field: an updated account of Thomas Pradeu's continuity theory of immunology
  • Evolution, morality and the genesis of moral judgement
  • Functions, genes and the ENCODE controversy
  • The meeting of medical minds and mental machines: a primer on the new philosophy of clinical expert systems
  • On the causal interpretation of the Price equation in cultural evolutionary theory

Dániel Margócsy

  • History of early modern science and technology
  • History of early modern medicine
  • The global history of science
  • Commerce and science
  • The history of the book
  • Visual studies of science

Dissertations previously supervised by Dániel Margócsy

  • Experience and wound care in late medieval English surgery, 1300–1500
  • Great apes and the role of observation in the 18th century
  • Materials of exchange: state knowledge, natural history, and the use of barrels in transporting specimens in early modern England
  • Catching colds in 17th and 18th century Britain: humourism, anatomy and everyday life
  • Dealing arms and making knowledge: the work of Cornelis Drebbel and maritime grand strategy in the 17th century
  • Of mammoths and men: contextual understandings of species extinction in the Age of Revolution

Simon Schaffer

  • Social history of physical sciences
  • History of experimental natural philosophy
  • Astronomical and navigational sciences between 1700 and 1900
  • Sociology of scientific knowledge

Dissertations previously supervised by Simon Schaffer

  • Calculating credibility: Turing's 'On Computable Numbers' and the legitimation of computationalist programmes in cognitive science
  • Swedish spies overseas: national identity and the circulation of naval science in 18th-century London
  • Boyle's glow-worms: reflections on experiments and experimental reflections
  • Frames of longitude: narrative, image, performance
  • Bicycles and bodies in Fin de Siècle England and France
  • The quest for perfect vision: Chérubin d'Orléans' optical instruments and the development of theories of binocular perception in late 17th-century France
  • The politics of place in the silvicultural and agricultural investigations of the early Royal Society
  • The Electrical Theory of the Universe and the fate of unorthodox cosmologies in early 19th-century Britain
  • The history of typography in relation to models of vision and observation
  • Men, mines and machines: Robert Were Fox, the dip-circle and the Cornish system
  • Global perspectives and visual pedagogies in the English Enlightenment, 1650–1770
  • Of this nothing is known: archives, witches and the limits of history
  • From Chelsea to Montague House: Hans Sloane's collection of Jamaica plants, 1742–1768
  • Robert Hooke on mathematics, mind and substance
  • The making of the Scottish mechanics' class: reinterpreting the Mechanics' Institutes
  • Observatories, data and cosmological conflict in public controversy over the Thirty Meter Telescope
  • Lineages of the company state: genealogical reasoning in William Jones' colonial sciences
  • Science at the Cape: Andrew Smith, the institutionalisation of science, and the South African Quarterly Journal
  • A new and curious treatise upon the paradoxical proclivities of Dr James Graham: or, immortality and orgasm in the Age of Enlightenment
  • The Balfour Laboratory: a case study in gender, space and science in late-19th and early-20th century Britain

Jim Secord

On leave in Michaelmas Term 2018 and Easter Term 2019

  • Social history of science since 1750, life and earth sciences
  • Public science from the French Revolution to the First World War, esp. in Britain, France and the United States: exhibitions, zoos, education, museums, scientific architecture, careers, textbooks, public lecturing, mechanics institutes, children's science, images of the scientist, government support for science, science in periodicals and newspapers
  • Scientific books, publishing and history of science communication (mostly British, 1790–1960): histories of individual firms (e.g. Cambridge University Press, Penguin), changing nature of authorship, history of the scientific article, history of scientific libraries, development of scientific periodicals, techniques for scientific illustration and other aspects of production
  • Science and literature, esp. Romantic and early Victorian: literary readings of scientific works, travel literature, science and the novel, autobiography
  • Religion and science in the 19th century: conversion experiences, denominational responses to science (e.g. early geology, astronomy, cosmology), Darwinian debates, atheism and science
  • History of earth sciences, 18th century to present: early theories of the earth, mineral collecting and prospecting, geological mapping, origins of geological timescale, debates about biblical flood, volcanoes, debates about uniformity and catastrophe, government surveys, oceanographic exploration, reception of continental drift, history of vertebrate and invertebrate palaeontology, history of public attitudes to geology
  • Imperialism and science (mostly 19th century): exploration, expeditions, surveys, botanical gardens, geological and natural history surveys, etc; science and race; science and public support for empire; imperial expositions and fairs; science, religion and empire, geography and empire

Dissertations previously supervised by Jim Secord

  • The races of cattle: acclimatization and classification between India and Britain
  • The constituency of reason: Michael Foster and science in parliamentary politics
  • Riding the Iguanodon to immortality: discovery in 19th-century geology
  • The rhetoric, media and literary culture of late 19th-century anti-vaccination campaign periodicals and publications
  • Michael Angelo Garvey's 'Silent Revolution': technology, education and the future from the post-1848 'moment'
  • Lost world fiction and the domestication of the dinosaur, 1880–1914
  • Thomas Carlyle and the 'hero as "man of science"' in the mechanical age
  • Looking up at the falling stars of 1866
  • 'The poetical character [...] is not itself – it has no self – it is everything and nothing – it has no character' (John Keats): science, poetry and poems in the writing of Humphry Davy

Richard Staley

The history of the physical sciences (broadly construed) from the 19th century to the present, including in particular:

  • The relations between material, intellectual, social and cultural dimensions of science
  • Instruments and the material culture of science
  • Exhibitions, scientific congresses, and other approaches to (inter)nationalism in science
  • Science in the fin de siècle, science and modernity, science and literature
  • Physics and other disciplines; the relations between the physical and human sciences
  • Laboratory, observatory, field and infrastructural sciences
  • Climate change
  • Science and technology in the 20th century
  • Science and war
  • Aspects of the history of anthropology

Dissertations previously supervised by Richard Staley

  • Transition of plastic from mainstream technology to conceptual, ideological and environmental crisis for capitalist production in 20th-century Britain
  • Stornoway and the North Atlantic storm-climate: a re-analysis of history's place in climate science
  • Field and fieldwork in Indian anthropology: a study of Man in India, 1920–52
  • Automata, axioms and the Air Force: on the origins of John von Neumann's theory of reliability
  • Science, morality and political power: social hierarchy and the scientific technocracy in the works of H.G. Wells
  • Two degrees of saturation: communicating climate change to the public in the UK's media saturated environment
  • Denizens on display: a study of the relationship between living exhibits and anthropological institutions in 19th-century Britain
  • The Turing Test, computationalism and tacit knowledge
  • Space crystals and 'our window on the world': economic development, imagination and humanity in the orbital heterotopias of the International Space station
  • Bertrand Russell's behaviouristic turn, 1914–1927
  • The science of horology: making and using time in the long 19th century
  • Children of the environmental apocalypse
  • Between research and pedagogy: conceptual change in quantum information science
  • The style of elements: a personal history and synthetic philosophy of organic chemistry
  • Gabriel Guilbert – a weather forecaster from Caen
  • Building around a black hole: materiality and embodiment in visual representations of black holes, c.1965–2017
  • Precision measurement in the French metric reform: a study of Borda's repeating circle
  • Forecasting doom: scientific prophets, the emotional regime of science, and the accommodated uncertainty of United States congressional testimony, 1963–88
  • Polar bear science and climate change denial: insights from a representational analysis of scientific, popular scientific, and online media
  • Interacting fields: Kenneth Wilson and American theoretical physics, 1970–80

Jacob Stegenga

On leave in 2018–19

Liba Taub

History of scientific instruments and material culture of science; early (particularly ancient Greek and Roman) science:

  • Early (particularly ancient Greek and Roman) science
    • Especially physics, cosmology, astronomy, harmonics, meteorology, geography, ethnography, agriculture
    • Styles of communicating scientific ideas and methods
    • The engagement of 19th- and 20th-century scientists with the ancients (e.g. Erwin Schroedinger's Nature and the Greeks)
  • History of scientific instruments
    • Material culture of science, particularly focused on items held in the Whipple collection (over 7000 objects/possible topics!)
    • The provenance of items purchased by Robert Whipple himself

Dissertations previously supervised by Liba Taub

  • Astrolabes in context: a reappraisal of medieval astronomical instruments
  • An early 19th-century 'museum microscope' and cultures of collecting
  • Natural history of sale: Maison Deyrolle and its role in the 19th-century natural history community
  • Pedagogy and translation of didactic verse in scientific/medical texts to and from the Islamicate world (9th–12th century)
  • A Korean astronomical screen at the Whipple Museum: parsing a composite cosmography
  • Physics demonstration apparatus in textbooks and trade literature
  • Making scientific women: practical chemistry instruction for women at Cambridge, 1890–1916
  • 'The knowledge of antiquity and the pursuit of new discoveries' in Edward Sherburne's The Sphere of Marcus Manilius Made an English Poem: with Annotations and an Astronomical Appendix (1675)

Research Fellows, Teaching Associates and Affiliates

Salim Al-Gailani

History of medicine and the life sciences since 1800, including:

  • Maternity care and experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, including maternal and infant health and welfare in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Reproductive technologies and medicine, birth control and abortion
  • History of surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology
  • History and politics of heredity/eugenics
  • History of anatomy, pathology and 'monstrosity'
  • Medical museums and their uses; material culture of medicine/life sciences and scientific collecting
  • Medicine and the public, including public health campaigns, health guides, patient-consumers, health and environmental activism
  • History of nutrition and nutritional guidelines, vitamins and health foods

Dissertations previously supervised by Salim Al-Gailani

  • From AID to ISCI: the treatment of male infertility in 20th-century Britain
  • The Basel Mission doctors on the Gold Coast and the making of tropical medicine, 1885–1914
  • 'Ritualistic comforting hand' or 'crass dissimulation'? The 'slow code' in historical and sociological perspective
  • 'Anorexia nervosa', gender and the diagnosis of female mental illness in late-Victorian medicine
  • 'We are strangers in a strange land': fathers in the National Childbirth Trust
  • Beyond the first breath: hyaline membrane disease and the construction of the neonatal patient in the United States, 1959–75

Leah Astbury

History of early modern medicine, the family and gender:

  • Social history of medicine: domestic medicine, patient-practitioner encounters and maintaining health
  • Writing practices: life-writing (diaries, letters, commonplace books)
  • History of the body and gender
  • Childbirth: fertility, maternal and infant health

Shahar Avin

  • Science funding
  • Existential risk
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Social epistemology
  • Software projects, especially models (technical guidance)

Dissertations previously supervised by Shahar Avin

  • Reconsidering speculation: charting the permissible use of speculative ethics as a preparatory tool for considering future developments in science and technology
  • Social epistemology meets science policy: a model driven proposal to test science funding strategies

Jenny Bangham

Histories of 20th-century biomedicine and human sciences, especially:

  • Genetics and genomics
  • Anthropology and race science
  • Laboratory biology, evolutionary biology
  • Popular science and scientific internationalism

Debby Banham

  • Early medieval medicine and related subjects
  • Intellectual and cultural history of early medieval England
  • Medieval Latin texts and language
  • Medieval manuscripts
  • Monastic sign language

Riana Betzler

  • Philosophy of psychology and cognitive science
  • Philosophy of biology
  • Philosophy of medicine (especially psychiatry)
  • General philosophy of science (especially values in science, feminist philosophy of science, natural kinds and classification)

Agnes Bolinska

  • General philosophy of science (especially scientific representation, abstraction and idealization, modelling, simulation, pluralism)
  • History and philosophy of 20th-century molecular biology
  • Philosophy of cognitive science (especially emotion, belief, concepts)
  • Philosophy of medicine
  • Biomedical ethics

Dissertations previously supervised by Agnes Bolinska

  • Evidence for existential risk: identifying effective and appropriate sources of evidence for the analysis of uncertain, low-probability, high-impact risks

Federico Brandmayr

  • Philosophy of the social sciences
  • Science and politics
  • Science and the law
  • Science communication
  • Scientists as experts and public intellectuals
  • Social history of the social sciences
  • Sociology of scientific knowledge

Andrew Buskell

  • Philosophy of biology
  • Philosophy of psychology and cognitive science
  • General philosophy of science

Jeremy Butterfield

  • Philosophy of physics

Dissertations previously supervised by Jeremy Butterfield

  • Defining complexity: a case for a definition by entropy development
  • Interpreting the Wigner-Eckart theorem

Robbie Duschinsky

The history and sociology of psychological research and practice, including:

  • Psychoanalysis and child development
  • Gender and psychiatry
  • The sociology of psychiatry and psychology, especially classificatory practices
  • Social and political theory, affect and gender theory

Seb Falk

Medieval sciences, especially:

  • Medieval astronomy/astrology and mathematical sciences
  • Scientific instruments
  • Manuscripts, texts, diagrams and tables
  • Sciences in medieval literature, culture and religion; monasteries and universities
  • Reception of Greek and Arabic sciences in Christian Europe

Matt Farr

  • Metaphysics of science (especially time, causation, modality)
  • Philosophy of physics (especially causality in physics)
  • General philosophy of science (especially explanation and laws of nature)
  • Philosophy of cognitive science (especially time perception and agency)

Dissertations previously supervised by Matt Farr

  • Chomsky's historical criticism of physicalism: motivations, historical accuracy and philosophical prospects
  • The minds behind the madness: analysing the many minds interpretation of quantum mechanics

Sietske Fransen

Early modern history of medicine and natural philosophy:

  • Language and translation
  • Circulation of ideas, books, objects and images
  • Visualisation of knowledge
  • History of manuscripts and printed books
  • Images in scientific communication

Dissertations previously supervised by Sietske Fransen

  • Tarantism: a diverse historical tool

Marina Frasca-Spada

History of the philosophy of science; 18th-century studies:

  • Topics in mainstream epistemology and philosophy of science
  • Classical topics in the history of the philosophy of science from Descartes to Kant
  • Text-based work on philosophy classics
  • Argument and persuasive strategies in the history of philosophy: rhetoric and style, philosophical writing and genres
  • Relations between 18th-century philosophy and literature: classical empiricism and the culture of sensibility
  • The history of the book in relation to philosophy and the sciences
  • Related topics in the history of education: learning, teaching and writing for Restoration Cambridge students and dons, or publication by/for women in the 18th century

Dissertations previously supervised by Marina Frasca-Spada

  • Kant's Second Analogy and Newtonian physics
  • The 'I' in language: from Descartes to Herder

Jessica Hamel-Akré

History and philosophy of early modern and 18th-century medicine; gender and food abstinence:

  • Social history of 18th-century medicine
  • Medicine and literature (medical popularization and authority, letter writing, fiction, medical storytelling and folklore)
  • Gender, body history and women's health before the 1800s
  • Early modern science and religion (especially medical-religious collaborations, as well as medical conflicts with spiritual and supernatural knowledges of the body)
  • Philosophy of diet and appetite control, history of eating disorders and female fasting

Milena Ivanova

  • Philosophy of science; history of philosophy of science
  • Scientific realism/instrumentalism
  • Conventionalism
  • Underdetermination and theory choice
  • A priori in science
  • Values in scientific practice
  • Aesthetics in science
  • Neo-Kantianism in philosophy of science
  • Pierre Duhem
  • Henri Poincare
  • Ernst Mach

Boris Jardine

  • Scientific instruments (the instrument trade; early-modern mathematical instruments; history of the microscope)
  • The material culture of science (including scientific architecture)
  • 'Paper tools' and the scientific book
  • History of scientific collections
  • The history of modern Cambridge science (scientific sites and buildings; the rise of laboratory science; Cambridge collections)
  • Science and politics (science and left-wing politics; science and utopia; science and modernism)

Dissertations previously supervised by Boris Jardine

  • Skins, skeletons, show-cases and the science of life: organising Cambridge's bird room at the turn of the 20th century
  • Characterising collections: on the preservation of old scientific apparatus at the Cavendish Laboratory and the Whipple Museum, Cambridge

Nick Jardine

Historiography of the sciences, early-modern astronomy and cosmology, history of natural history, history of philosophy of science:

  • Historiography of the sciences: the founding fathers and mothers (Whewell, Duhem, Sarton, Koyré, Metzger, etc.); polemical uses of history of the sciences; problems of historical interpretation; anachronism; problems of historical explanation and narration; theories of social construction, network formation, mediated exchange of knowledge; cultural history of the sciences; history of science in relation to anthropology, history of the book, cultural geography; etc.
  • Early-modern astronomy and cosmology: the battle of the world-systems; the places of astronomy in early-modern culture; astronomical imagery; etc.
  • History of natural history: cabinets and museums; travelling and collecting; natural history and natural theology; popular natural history; curiosities and monstrosities; etc.
  • History of philosophy of science: Kant and the Kantian heritage; pragmatism

Dissertations previously supervised by Nick Jardine

  • Rethinking the legacy of J.H. Woodger
  • What's in a name? Hereos and visions in Amazonian ethnobotany
  • Does commitment to aesthetic criteria for theory selection undermine the rationalist picture of scientific practice?
  • Totalising Galvanism: J.W. Ritter and F.W. Schelling's Romantic dialogue on the role of the individual phenomenon within a holistic
  • An educative discipline: Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science and the permeability of disciplinary boundaries in Cambridge HPS, 1945–1965
  • Kant and Hume on the external world – the refutation of idealism: how far is Kant’s answer satisfactory to the sceptic?
  • Ex epistulis Philippinensibus: Georg Joseph Kamel SJ (1661–1706) and his correspondence network
  • Naturgeschichte, Naturbeschreibung and the purposiveness of nature in Kant's critical and precritical writings
  • C.S. Lewis, science and society

Peter Jones

  • History of medieval medicine and surgery
  • Medieval manuscripts and early printed books
  • Visualisation in medicine and science before 1600
  • Medicinal alchemy in the Middle Ages

Melanie Keene

  • History of popular science, especially 19th century
  • Science and literature
  • Science for children
  • History of education

Dissertations previously supervised by Melanie Keene

  • Negretti & Zambra's scientific instruments: a new dimension to the Victorian culture of travel

Sachiko Kusukawa

History of early modern natural philosophy, natural history, medicine and visualisation:

  • Observational practices, 1450–1750
  • The making and circulation of drawings, objects, printed images, 1450–1750
  • Illustrations in the Philosophical Transactions or licensed publications of the Royal Society
  • Concepts and uses of colour, 1450–1750
  • Natural history, 1450–1750

Dissertations previously supervised by Sachiko Kusukawa

  • 'Materia Vitraria' from Hartlib to Sloane: deconstructing glass and building up shards at the early Royal Society

Yang Liu

  • Logic
  • Philosophy of probability
  • Rational choice

Sarah Marks

  • History of psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy
  • Health policy and social movements
  • Science and medicine in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Cold War science

Dissertations previously supervised by Sarah Marks

  • Visions of schizophrenia and schizophrenic visions: Francis Reitman's psychophysiological approach to schizophrenic art at the Maudsley and Netherne hospitals, 1938–1954
  • 'The fight for autism rights is the civil rights movement of our times': historical reflections on the autism rights movement
  • Historical perspectives of the treatment of anorexia nervosa in late 20th-century Britain: an exploration of debates of clinical iatrogenesis

Joseph Martin

  • History of modern physics (especially late 20th century)
  • History of American science
  • History of American technology
  • History of materials
  • Institutional history (especially patronage and funding)
  • Laboratory history
  • History of industrial research
  • History of university research
  • Historiography and historical methods (especially counterfactuals)
  • General philosophy of science (especially contingency and inevitability)
  • General philosophy of technology

Dissertations previously supervised by Joseph Martin

  • The shape of motion: the influence of aeronautics on automobile aerodynamic design
  • The natural philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

Richard McKay

Dissertation supervision only

Histories of medicine, public health and sexuality since 1900, especially in North America, with a particular interest in:

  • Venereal disease / sexually transmitted infections
  • Epidemiology and socio-cultural responses to epidemics
  • Visual communication of science and medicine

Dissertations previously supervised by Richard McKay

  • Conflicts between indigenous healing and biomedicine: self-determination in health care and Canada's Indian Health Transfer Policy

Joshua Nall

History of scientific material culture, astronomy and popular science in the 19th and 20th century, in particular:

  • The roles and uses of scientific instruments and models in the modern physical sciences
  • History of astrophysics and astrobiology, 1860–1920
  • Museums, exhibitions and expositions in the fin de siècle
  • Popular science, media networks, scientific journalism, 1860–1920

Dissertations previously supervised by Joshua Nall

  • Robert S. Whipple as collector, donor and historian (1871–1953)
  • Models of authority: the place of geological models in the visual language of geology
  • Early 20th-century debates over life on Mars and their impact on the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast incident

Rune Nyrup

On leave in Lent Term 2019

  • General philosophy of science (especially explanatory reasoning/abduction, analogies, hypothesis generation, context of pursuit, context of discovery, values in science)
  • Scientific realism (including perspectivism, pragmatism, pluralism)
  • Philosophy of archaeology
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Ethics of artificial intelligence
  • Computer ethics

Dissertations previously supervised by Rune Nyrup

  • The significance of science and human flourishing: a humanitarian solution to the problem of scientific significance

Brian Pitts

  • General philosophy of science, including realism and confirmation
  • History and philosophy of physics

Carolin Schmitz

History of early modern medicine (social and cultural approach):

  • Medical pluralism
  • Medical encounters and the law
  • History of medical licensing
  • History of medical practices in early modern Spain
  • History of the patient / patient-practitioner relationships
  • Medicine and the Spanish picaresque novel

Anne Secord

  • Popular science, 19th-century
  • Natural history, 18th and 19th-century
  • History of scientific observation, 18th and 19th-century
  • Scientific personae

Dissertations previously supervised by Anne Secord

  • Birds of paradise and collecting Eden
  • Corresponding conviction: the establishment of authority in the letters of James Croll

Karina Vold

  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of cognitive science
  • Situated cognition (embodied, embedded, enactive, extended views)
  • Intelligence augmentation and enhancement
  • Philosophy of neuroscience, neuroethics and neurolaw
  • Decision making and nudge theory
  • Moral psychology
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and AI ethics

Paul White

  • Natural history, 18th–20th century
  • Biological sciences, 19th–20th century
  • Scientific persona and identity construction
  • Relations of science and literature
  • Gender and science
  • Travel and exploration
  • Science and religion
  • Science and the visual arts
  • Darwin/Darwinism/evolutionary theory
  • Emotions in science and medicine

Dissertations previously supervised by Paul White

  • Biography and the mid-Victorian science of character
  • A space for dying: an exploration into the design of St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, and the spaces it created
  • Contested boundaries: physiology's internal milieu and the debates over vivisection and vaccination in late Victorian Britain
  • Isaac Van Amburgh 'the brute tamer': spectacle, education and natural history in Britain, 1825–72

Daniel Wilson

History of science and technology from c.1820 to the present:

  • Politics and critiques of technology
  • Sociology of science and technology
  • Digital technologies, cybernetics, AI
  • Science and technology in modern culture
  • Histories of statistics, number, risk and finance
  • Machines and political economy
  • Sciences of climate change and environmental history
  • Science and democracy

Rosie Worsdale

  • Feminist philosophy of science, especially the social sciences (standpoint epistemology, critiques of objectivity, values in science, methods and methodologies in gender research)
  • The social and historical construction of identity categories (especially as relating to race, gender, sexuality, disability) and their relation to biological categories
  • The history of critical social theory (Foucault, Bourdieu, the Frankfurt School) and its relation to the social sciences