I blogged regularly at the Guardian Science Blogs network for several years and have written for publications aimed at a broader readership, including articles in HerStoria Magazine, Endeavour and BBC History Magazine (PDF).
I have appeared on radio and television, in the UK, Canada and Australia, in news programmes, features and documentaries speaking about the history of astronomy, scientific voyaging, the Royal Observatory and its history, scientific instruments, challenge prizes in science, the story of longitude, Greenwich Mean Time, and the history of women in science. Examples are:
- PM on Matthew Flinders (BBC Radio 4, 25 Jan 2019)
- Business Daily on women in science (BBC World Service, 9 Oct 2018)
- Today Programme on time zones (BBC Radio 4, 5 May 2018)
- The Christ Smith Show on Matthew Flinders (2GB, Australia, 27 Apr 2018)
- Inside Versailles, Series 2, Episode 8 (BBC Two, 11 Jun 2017)
- In Our Time: Voyages of James Cook (BBC Radio 4, 3 Dec 2015)
- The Lady Computer of Strabane (BBC Radio Ulster, 26 Mar 2015)
- The Art of Monarchy, Episode 6: Progress (BBC Radio 4, 17 Mar 2012)
- In Our Time: The Royal Society and British Science, Episode 2 (BBC Radio 4, 5 Jan 2010)
- Stargazing Live Series 3, Episode 1: Life on Mars (BBC Two, 8 Jan 2013)
- East to West: Between Two Rivers (All3Media, Lion Television, SBS, 2012)
I acted as a specialist consultant for The Aeronauts (Amazon Studios, Mandeville Films, 2019), inspired by the ballooning exploits and meteorology of James Glaisher, played by Eddie Redmayne.
Ships, Clocks & Stars, an exhibition I co-curated on the search for a means of finding longitude at sea in the 18th and 19th centuries, was at the National Maritime Museum from July 2014 to January 2015. It is currently touring in the US (Folger Library and Mystic Seaport) and Australia. Earlier projects included the NMM’s major 2012 Royal River temporary exhibition and small displays at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, such as 2009’s Solar Story and 2012’s Measuring the Universe. I was also involved in various redisplays in the permanent galleries at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Publications undertaken for the Royal Museums Greenwich include the Royal Observatory Greenwich Souvenir Guide (2011), on which I was lead author and editor, and the exhibition catalogue Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames (2012), in which I wrote several catalogue entries and section introductions. Published in June 2014 was Finding Longitude a book co-written with Richard Dunn on the history of longitude, accompanying the Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition. I contributed a chapter to Science City: Craft, Commerce and Curiosity in London 1550-1800 (2019), which accompanies the Science Museum’s Science City 1550-1800 gallery.
Video introducing the Transit of Venus digital collection, a resource at Cambridge Digital Library that I facilitated:
I gave a talk for the Gresham College/British Society for the History of Mathematics Annual Lecture on “Mathematical Practice and 18th-Century British Voyages of Exploration” (video, audio, transcript, presentation available) on 23 October 2019.
“Longitude Found!“, my talk at the Isaac Newton Institute for the Cambridge Science Festival on 21 March 2015.
“Hero or villain? Nevil Maskelyne’s posthumous reputation“, a lecture given at the Royal Society on 20 April 2012.
I discuss some of the history of solar observation at the Royal Observatory in a video for the Solar Stormwatch project. I focused on my doctoral research for the Enlightening Science project, talking about 18th and 19th-century biographies of Newton.
I have recorded several podcasts for the Royal Museums Greenwich podcast series, On the Line:
- Alice Everett, a woman in science (11 March 2011) on the life of Alice Everett, one of the first women paid to work at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
- James Glashier, astronomer and death-defying meteorologist (26 November 26 2010) revealing how ROG employee James Glaisher had a near-death experience while studying the weather in a balloon.
- Charles Green, Royal Observatory Greenwich Assistant and stand-in Astronomer Royal (3 September 2010) on how ROG assistant Charles Green became a stand-in Astronomer Royal, and joined Cook on his first voyage to view the transit of Venus in Tahiti.
- Edward Walter Maunder and the Science of the Sun at the Royal Observatory (12 March 2010) looks at ROG assistant Edward Walter Maunder, his solar observation, influence on climate change research and the debate about life on Mars.
- Life behind the scenes at the Royal Observatory (28 January 2010) introducing the lives and work of the astronomical assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
- The history of scientific photography at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (30 October 2009) discussing the work of solar and astronomical photographers at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, from the 1840s onwards.
- How Greenwich became the home of the Prime Meridian (13 October 2009) celebrating the Prime Meridian’s 125th anniversary, I reveal why Greenwich became its home.
- Moon-mapping history (4 March 2009) looking at the National Maritime Museum’s collection of globes and maps of the Moon.
- How to play Science and Sport, an astronomy board game (26 January 2009) talking about one of my favourite objects – an early 19th-century astronomy board game, in which the winner was crowned Astronomer Royal.