I am a third year PhD candidate in the History of Science. I work on the life and diary of Charles Blagden (1748-1820), physician, natural philosopher, and secretary to the Royal Society between 1784 and 1797.
Although a potentially rich source of information about the workings of English science and the Royal Society under its longest serving president, Sir Joseph Banks, Blagden’s difficult handwriting has meant that his diary has received relatively little attention from scholars. I am working to transcribe a number of sections from Blagden’s diary, opening it up to the use of other historians, as well as using it to explore a number of themes in my thesis. I am particularly interested in examining how the secretary operated in the eighteenth century, and how vast quantities of information were managed on paper by Blagden, as seen in his diary and notebooks. My thesis will also explore the networks of individuals involved in scientific activities with and around Blagden, both in London and on the continent.
My project is funded by the AHRC and is a collaborative doctoral award. I am based at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London and the Royal Society.
You can find out more about my research on my academia.edu page.
I have a passion for museums and public engagement, and work as a student engager within UCL’s three museums, the Grant, Art, and Petrie, discussing my doctoral research and its links to museum objects and exhibitions. I discuss some of these links, conversations and ideas made in the museums in the student engagers’ blog.
Cover image: Lectures on chemistry. Holograph notes taken by Sir Charles Blagden [1748-1820], when a student at Edinburgh University. L0068238 Lectures on chemistry, Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images.