Professor Matthew Daniel Eddy
Professor / Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science Co-Director / Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
BA, MA, PhD
|Professor / Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science Co-Director / Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies in the Department of Philosophy|
|Associate Member in the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)|
|Member of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture|
|Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science in Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)|
|Co-Director (Grants and Impact) in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies|
Office Location: Durham Univeresity Department of Philosophy, 50-51 Old Elvet, DH1 3HN, second floor, Room 203.
Office Hours: Michaelmas Term (Research Leave); Epiphany and Easter Terms, Monday, 11:00-1400.
Areas of Expertise
Science and Technology Studies, History and Philosophy of Science, Media Studies, Environmental Humanities, Medical Humanities, Gender Studies, The Enlightenment (and its Afterlives)
I am a cultural and intellectual historian of modern Europe. After completing a PhD in European history at Durham University, I held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT, Harvard and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. I've since held professorial appointments at Durham, Caltech and Uppsala University. I currently am Durham University’s Chair and Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science and the Co-Director of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Most of my research addresses the cultural history of science in modern Britain and its former empire. I am especially interested in how different social groups used science and its attendant media technologies to make competing knowledge claims about the nature and the body. I have authored two books on this subject titled Media and the Mind: Art, Science and Notebooks as Paper Machines, 1700-1830 (Chicago: 2023) and The Language of Mineralogy: John Walker, Chemistry, and the Edinburgh Medical School, 1750-1800 (Routledge: 2008/2016). I've also edited five volumes and published articles in the Journal of British Studies, British Journal for the History of Science, Book History, Intellectual History Review, History of Education, Literature and Theology, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London and elsewhere.
My current research plans are focused around a substantial project on the historical and ethical relationships between race, cognition and democracy within the lives of black physicians in the British Empire. Other topics that I am working on at the moment are a co-edited volume about Science, Gender and Sociability in a Northern City c. 1775-1820, a co-edited volume that problematises the historical relationship between scientific information and colonial institutions, and an AHRC-funded collaborative project with the Royal Society of London on Caroline Herschel, Astronomical Notebooks and the Material Culture of Predigital Communication Systems.
Awards and Honours
I've held fellowships at Harvard University, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, UCLA’s Clark Library, the Science Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, the Huntington Library and Durham's Institute of Advance Studies. My work has been supported by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Mellon Foundation, the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Royal Society of London. Over the years my research has been profiled by Inside Higher Ed, the BBC, Yahoo News and Apple News, and I have acted as a historical consultant for several BBC documentaries. I presently sit on the editorial boards of History of the Human Sciences, History of Education and Notes and Records of the Royal Society.