My interests span the history, ethics, and policy of science and technology. Formerly a bioscientist, a science teacher, and science adviser to ICI (the international chemical company), I became Head of the Science Museum in London and then Chief Executive of the British Science Association.


I am now a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institution and a Research Associate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London, where I concentrate on the history of nineteenth-century science. I am a general editor of the correspondence of John Tyndall, being published in 20 volumes by Pittsburgh University Press.


The Ascent of John Tyndall, my biography of this outstanding nineteenth-century physicist, mountaineer, and public intellectual, was published by OUP on 22 March 2018 in hardback and in 2020 in paperback.

The Poetry of John Tyndall, with Nicola Jackson and Daniel Brown, was published in 2020 by UCL Press.


Beyond the history of science, my focus in the twenty-first century is on public dialogue to inform policy-making across Government on issues involving science and technology, through Sciencewise.