Rehabilitating Nevil Maskelyne

Today is the bicentenary of the death of the fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. He is best known as the villain of Dava Sobel’s Longitude. This depiction is unfair, as is this book’s suggestion that astronomical and chronometric solutions to the problem of finding longitude at sea were rival rather than complementary approaches.

The Longitude Project Blog is presenting four posts by Alexi Baker that exaine the reasons why the popular view of his dealings with John Harrison is inadequate. The first post, Assessing the accusations, is already up and the rest will follow over the next three days.

About Rebekah Higgitt

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. She was Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich between 2008 and 2013 and is now a senior lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent. Her research and publications have mainly focused on scientific institutions, scientific biography, history of science and the relationship between science, government and the public in 19th-century Britain. She became Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland in August 2020 and is currently also Acting Keeper of Science & Technology.
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