• Room 02.029 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome PhD applications in the following areas, informed by an overarching interest in the historical geographies of knowledge:

- History of geographical knowledge (since 1750)
- History of modern science and religion
- History of the earth and life sciences


Research activity per year

Personal profile


My research interests fall within the following two themes:    
  • Historical geographies of ideas
  • History of geographical knowledge


Research Statement

My research interests include the cultural history and geography of the life and earth sciences, with a particular emphasis on religious responses to scientific developments in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My earliest work examined the reception of glacial theory in Victorian Edinburgh, investigated the historical geographies of Scottish natural history societies in the period 1831-1900 and, with Charles Withers and Rebekah Higgitt, explored the role of geography in the work of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1831 – c.1933. My book on natural history societies in Victorian Scotland was published by Pickering & Chatto in 2009 and was awarded the Frank Watson Book Prize for Scottish History in 2011. In 2014, I completed a two-year AHRC-funded project on science in nineteenth-century Belfast. I have also written about the mix of metaphysics and science in the writings of the geologist James Croll and the reception of ideas about human evolution in the context of religious debates about the creation of Eve (rather than Adam). More recent work has centred on public speech as a situated mode of interaction between science and culture in the nineteenth century. A monograph on this subject examining the lecture tours of five British celebrity scientists in Gilded Age America published by the University of Pittsburgh Press has recently appeared. With Professor David N. Livingstone, I have now completed a 27 month project investigating debates about evolution and theology in the early twentieth century. This is part of a larger John Templeton Foundation-funded project on conjunctive explanations in science and religion (CESAR). I am currently at the early stages of writing a biography of Scottish evolutionist and evangelist, Henry Drummond. 


GGY1011 Human Geography: Society, Power and Culture

GGY1012 Human Geography: Society, Economy and Population

GGY2055 Geographical Research Skills

GGY2056 Contemporary Approaches to Geographical Enquiry

GGY3066 Geography, Science and Society

GGY3081 Dissertation

GGY7001 Critical Geopolitics

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


Dive into the research topics where Diarmid Finnegan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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