1979 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests congregate around several related themes: the histories of geographical knowledge, the spatiality of scientific culture, and the historical geographies of science and religion. I am currently involved in two writing projects. The first focuses on the geographies of Darwinism. Here I am attempting to elucidate the role of space and place in the circulation of Darwinism and the construction of Darwinian meaning. The second, under the working title ‘The Empire of Climate’, is a social history of environmental determinism from Herodotus to Global Warming.  


 Major Awards

  • Fellow of the British Academy, elected 1995
  • Back Award, Royal Geographical Society, 1997
  • Member of the Royal Irish Academy, elected 1998
  • Centenary Medal, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 1998
  • British Academy Research Reader, 1999-2001
  • Templeton Foundation Lecture Prize, 1999
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, elected 2001
  • OBE, for services to Geography and History, 2002
  • Member of the Academia Europaea, elected 2002
  • Member of the Academy of the Social Sciences, elected 2002
  • Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Social Sciences, 2008
  • Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 2011-2014
  • Corresponding Member, International Academy of the History of Science, elected 2011
  • Founder’s Medal, Royal Geographical Society, 2011
  • Hon D. Litt, University of Aberdeen, 2013
  • CBE, for services to scholarship in Geography, History of Science and Intellectual History, 2019


Named Lectures / Lecture Series

  • Charles Lyell Lecture, British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994
  • Templeton Lecture, Oregon State University, 1999
  • Weston Lecture, Augustine College, Ottawa, 2000
  • Hettner Lectures, University of Heidelberg, 2001
  • Murrin Lectures, University of British Columbia, 2002
  • Progress in Human Geography Lecture, Royal Geographical Society, 2005
  • Appleton Lecture, University of Hull, 2007
  • Von Humboldt Lecture, U.C.L.A., 2007
  • Gordon Manley Lecture, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2007
  • Gunning Lecture, University of Edinburgh, 2009
  • Gregory Lecture, University of Southampton, 2010
  • Gifford Lectures, University of Aberdeen, 2014
  • Walton Lecture, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 2015
  • Dudleian Lecture, Harvard University, 2015



Recent External Appointments


  • Member, Geography Panel (35), UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2001
  • President, Geography Section, British Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005
  • Visiting Fellowships Officer, Section SS3, British Academy, 2005-08
  • Deputy Chair, Geography and Environmental Studies Sub-Panel (32), RAE 2008
  • Vice-President (Research), Royal Geographical Society, 2007-2010
  • Council, British Society for the History of Science, 2009-2011
  • Member, International Grants Committee, The Uses and Abuses of Biology, The Faraday Institute, St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, 2011-
  • Member, Advisory Board, Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs Research Programme, The Historical Society (USA), 2011-
  • Royal Irish Academy, North-South Committee, 2013-
  • Senior Research Fellowships Panel, Section SS3, British Academy, 2015-
  • Royal Irish Academy, Brexit Working Group, 2017-19
  • Royal Irish Academy, Advisory Committee for the Assessments of Candidates, 2018-
  • British Academy Global Professorships Panel, 2019-



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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