As Curator of the History of Science Collections, my work focuses on expanding the holdings of rare materials to build on current strengths and to address emerging areas of research interest; on curating participatory exhibitions to engage the OU community and beyond and to increase the visibility of the history of science program; on facilitating digital initiatives of the Collections including the special collections digital library and Edition Open Sources (EOS); and on supporting exhibit-related educational outreach via the activities of the OU Academy of the Lynx.
The educational arm of the History of Science Collections of OU Libraries is the OU Academy of the Lynx. We seek to collaborate with educators in exhibit-based learning by creating, field-testing and sharing Open Educational Resources (OER’s). We invite researchers, graduate students, and others to join us as a participating educator, museum worker, amateur astronomer, student, scholar, sponsor or docent. Currently we are developing OER's related to the Galileo’s World exhibition (2015-2018).
My research and creative activities outside of my curatorial responsibilities engage three aspects of early modern history of science: Theories of the Earth, science and religion, and visual representation. Each of these aspects of early modern science is interpreted from a perspective informed by the cultural history of the book so that, for example, I investigate Theories of the Earth as a contested print tradition.
Theories of the Earth constituted a tradition of print publications addressing the nature and history of the Earth which thrived during the 17th and 18th centuries. Theories of the Earth reveal the varied contexts in which diverse historical sensibilities emerged regarding the Earth and cosmos - developments which have been referred to as the so-called "temporalization of the great chain of being," or the transition "from natural history to the history of nature." Publications in this multi-disciplinary tradition often proved controversial, in large part because an investigation of some aspect of the Earth from one scholarly perspective would quickly be countered by an alternative view representing a different disciplinary context, geographical region, or natural philosophical tradition. For this reason, Theories of the Earth offer historians an attractive opportunity to better understand the emergence of the historical sciences in relation to how disciplinary boundaries changed in the early modern period and how the modern scientific disciplines emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Other interests include the history of science in science education, the history of natural theology, and implementation of digital academic workflows on Mac and iOS.