"Dear Mr Darwin’: what can we learn from 19th century citizen science?" by Prof Sally Shuttleworth, Dr Sally Frampton and Dr Geoff Belknap

Past Event

08 May 2014, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This Seminar is co-hosted with the Oxford Martin Programme on Computational Cosmology and is part of the Oxford Martin School Trinity Term seminar series: Trusting the crowd: solving big problems with everyday solutions.

Professor Sally Shuttleworth, Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Dr Sally Frampton, Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, and Dr Geoff Belknap, Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Leicester will all talk about the role of Citizen Science in their AHRC Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries project.

The project uses the framing of ‘Citizen Science’ to consider how ‘public’ participation in science was understood in the nineteenth century. The project brings together historical and literary research in the nineteenth century with contemporary scientific practice, looking at the ways in which patterns of popular communication and engagement in nineteenth-century science can offer models for current practice.

This seminar will also be live webcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3nEYP_JBPc

About the speakers

Professor Sally Shuttleworth is a Professor of English Literature in the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford. She is also the Principal Investigator for a large AHRC four year grant in the field of Science and Culture, on ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’. She is working with Dr Gowan Dawson at the University of Leicester, and her colleague in Astrophysics at Oxford, Dr Chris Lintott, and also their partner institutions, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Society, and the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons.

In Sally's my most recent book, The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840-1900 (OUP, 2010), she looks at a range of literary texts, including Dickens, Brontë, Eliot, Meredith, James, Hardy, and Gosse, in the light of the emerging sciences of child psychology and psychiatry, and the impact of evolutionary theory. She is currently extending her work on the interface of literature, science and culture with two large projects, for which she is Principal Investigator. The 2nd is a European Advanced Investigator grant for a five year project, ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’.

Dr Sally Frampton is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on 'Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries', a collaborative project between the Universities of Oxford and Leicester and a number of other partner institutions. My own research seeks to examine the place of the public in medical knowledge-making at this time. From vicars’ contributions to disease statistics, to the role of laypeople in the publishing of medical periodicals, my research looks to the rich variety of ways professional and non-professional persons interacted within sites of ‘orthodox’ medicine.

She has also worked on the recent history of British surgery, in particular the introduction of 'keyhole' techniques, and retains an interest in all things relating to the history of anatomy and surgery. In addition to her academic work, she is interested in new and interesting ways of doing public engagement in both science and the humanities.

Dr Geoffrey Belknap is a historian of Victorian Science, Visual Culture and Periodical History. Having completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2011 he has worked as a researcher and post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University on both the Charles Darwin and John Tyndall Correspondence Projects. He has also held short-term fellowships at the Yale Center for British Art and the University of Nairobi. His primary area of research has been the production and reproduction of photographic images in various sites of scientific communication. As a post-doctoral fellow on the Citizen Science project at Leicester University, he is investigating the broader uses of illustrations within Natural History periodicals in the mid- to late-Victorian period.