About

Whewell’s Ghost is a blog dedicated to the History and Philosophy of Science. It is available to any researcher or teacher of this and related disciplines to post professional material, reviews, notifications, ideas, and to crosspost from other blogs. Just get in touch with us using the “Contact” link above to be added. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

William Whewell was the first HPS practitioner as such. He also published the first “philosophy of biology” of which we are aware, and is famous for coining the term “scientist”. It is only fitting that we name this blog after the founder of our disciplines.

Whewell’s Ghost was launched by Rebekah Higgit, John M. Lynch and John Wilkins in September 2010. Current contributers include:

  • John M. Lynch is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College and a Principal Lecturer at the Center for Biology & Society, both at Arizona State University. An evolutionary biologist by training, he’s currently interested  Victorian science, contemporary American anti-evolutionism, and the role of history of science in science education. [website] [blog]
  • John Wilkins is Assistant Professor at Bond University on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. His focus is on classification and taxonomy in the natural sciences. He has published extensively on the history of the concept of “species”. His blog is Evolving Thoughts. [blog]
  • Rebekah Higgitt completed a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London in 2004 and did postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. Since 2008 she has been Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Her research and publications have mainly focused on scientific institutions, scientific biography, history of science and the relationship between science and the public in 19th-century Britain. [website] [blog]
  • Thony Christie describes himself as an “aging freak who fell in love with the history of science and now resides mostly in the 16th century.” [blog]
  • Will Thomas is a junior research fellow at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at Imperial College London. He is originally from Minnesota, and received his PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University in 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he was a post-doctoral historian at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics near Washington, DC. There he developed the Array of Contemporary American Physicists resource. His primary interests are in 20th-century America and Britain, and in the histories of physics and the sciences of policy analysis. He maintains the blog Ether Wave Propaganda, usually posting about the problems of maintaining a constructive historiography, and about argumentative systems in all eras.
  • Brandon Watson has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He specializes in early modern philosophy, with particular focus on Hume and his philosophical context. He also has a longstanding interest in Whewell and his contemporaries and in Duhem.
  • Michael Robinson is an associate professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. His research focuses on the history of science and exploration. His book, The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture, takes up the story of Arctic exploration in the United States, from 1850 to 1910. He writes a blog about science, history, and exploration called Time to Eat The Dogs. He is working on a cultural history of American exploration from the 1700s to the present.
  • Amy Shira Teitel has long been fascinated with spaceflight. She recently completed a Master’s thesis on land landing systems in NASA spacecrafts in the 1960s at York University. She is pursuing a career as a writer in an effort to convey her enthusiasm for the history of spaceflight to a broad audience. [blog]
  • David Bressan is a freelance geologist working mainly in the Austroalpine crystalline rocks and the South Alpine Palaeozoic and Mesozoic cover-sediments in the Eastern Alps. He became interested in history, especially the development of geomorphologic, paleontological and geological concepts by naturalists and geologists. [blog]
  • James Sumner is Lecturer in the History of Technology at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester. He is currently developing a book project on how philosophical/scientific ideas became credible in the beer-brewing industry in the years around 1800. He also works on the promotion of digital computing concepts and products to non-expert audiences in Britain. [website]
  • Liam Heneghan, a Dubliner, is an ecosystem ecologist working at DePaul University in Chicago where he is a Professor of Environmental Science and co-director of DePaul University’s Institute for Nature and Culture. His research has included studies on the impact of acid rain on soil foodwebs in Europe, and on inter-biome comparisons of decomposition and nutrient dynamics in forested ecosystems in North American and in the tropics. Over the past decade Heneghan and his students have been working on restoration issues in Midwestern ecosystems. Heneghan is co-chair of the Chicago Wilderness Science Team. He is also a graduate student in DePaul University’s philosophy program. He blogs at 10 Things Wrong With Environmental Thinking…(and what we can do about them…) - which features posts giving a sympathetic but critical account of inadequacies in environmental thought in 10 categories – and is a guest columnist at 3 Quarks Daily.