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.
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.