The Project Team

Principal Investigator: Dr Rebekah Higgitt

Rebekah Higgitt is a lecturer in the School of History, University of Kent. She has worked widely on the history of science from the 17th-19th centuries, including on: scientific institutions, including the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the Board of Longitude and the British Association for the Advancement of Science; the relationship between science, government and the public; scientific biography; and the material culture of science. She did her PhD at Imperial College London, postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh and, from 2008-13, she was Curator of History of Science at the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory Greenwich. She is author of Recreating Newton: Biographies of Newton and the Making of Nineteenth-Century History of Science (2007), co-author of Finding Longitude (2014), editor and lead author of Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal (2014), and co-editor of Navigational Enterprises in Europe and its Empires, 1730-1850 (2015). She was co-curator of the NMM’s Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition in 2014, winner of the British Society for the History of Science’s Great Exhibitions competition.


Co-Investigator: Alison Boyle

Alison Boyle is Keeper of Science Collections at the Science Museum, London, overseeing a team of curators working on projects including a new permanent gallery on scientific instruments in early-modern London (2019) and a temporary exhibition on the Sun (2018). She is currently completing a PhD at the Science & Technology Studies Department of University College London, exploring the role of material culture in public presentations of physics during the 20th century. She is co-editor of Challenging Collections: Approaches to the Heritage of Recent Science and Technology (due out October 2017). She was lead curator of the Science Museum’s Cosmos & Culture gallery (2009-17) and Collider: Step Inside the World’s Greatest Experiment exhibition (2013), which won the Society for the History of Technology’s 2014 Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits.


Project Consultant: Professor Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett is Curator Emeritus at the Science Museum and formerly Director of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.


Postdoctoral Researchers:

Dr Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin is a social and cultural historian of early modern England. She is particularly interested in the material cultures, spaces, and knowledge cultures of London’s diverse artisanal communities. Before joining the Metropolitan Science project she was a College Lecturer and Fellow in History at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. In 2014-15 she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She has published on gifting cultures, memory and material cultures, and civic drinking rituals.

Dr Noah Moxham

Noah Moxham is a historian of early modern science and communication (and especially of the intersections between them).  He has previously worked on the Leverhulme-funded international network ‘News Networks in early modern Europe’ at QMUL/UEA, and ‘Publishing the Philosophical Transactions (a project tracing the history of the world’s first scientific periodical from the seventeenth century to the present) at St Andrews. He has published widely on the history of scholarly communication, as well as on intellectual networks, scientific biography, and institutions of early modern science.  He is the co-editor of News Networks in Early Modern Europe (2016).


Management Committee

In addition to the PI and Co-I, the project has appointed Professor Charlotte Sleigh (Director of the Centre for the History of the Sciences, University of Kent) and Dr Tim Boon (Head of Research and Public History, Science Museum) to a management committee.


Advisory Board

Professor Jim Bennett (Keeper Emeritus, Science Museum)
Dr Jane Desborough (Associate Curator of Science, Science Museum)
Dr Richard Dunn (Head of Science Curatorial Group, Royal Museums Greenwich)
Professor Rob Iliffe (Faculty of History, University of Oxford)
Alex Rose (Curator of Earth Sciences, Science Museum)
Dr Simon Werrett (Science & Technology Studies, University College London)