Aileen Fyfe

Last name

Dr Aileen Fyfe is Reader in Modern British History at the University of St Andrews. She was born in Glasgow, educated at Cambridge, and spent a decade at the National University of Ireland, Galway, before returning to Scotland in 2010.

She is a historian of science and technology, with particular interests in the communication of scientific knowledge. Her research has investigated how science has been popularised to a variety of audiences, from the Victorian working classes, to children and tourists. She is interested in non-textual forms of communication, such as museums and zoos, but the majority of her work has been on print culture and particularly on the history of science publishing. Her prize-winning Steam-Powered Knowledge (Chicago, 2012) investigates the ways in which mid-nineteenth-century publishers incorporated new technologies into their business systems. She is currently writing a book on the Victorian information revolution.

She is the PI on the AHRC-funded project 'Publishing the Philosophical Transactions: the economic, social and cultural history of a learned journal, 1665-2015', which is investigating the behind-the-scenes story of the world's oldest scientific journal. She is also developing and performing in an AHRC-funded collaborative 'Victorian Science Spectacular' show, to bring the 'latest' science and technology of the 1890s to modern audiences.

Working Groups: Arts, Humanities and Society; Open Data


Areas of Interest
University of St Andrews
Key words
history, science, technology

Our Members

At present, Helen holds a Royal Academy of Engineering and EPSRC Research Fellowship at Heriot-Watt University. The main aim of her research is to develop tools which enable faster monitoring of water quality, to improve public health. There are various strands to this work.

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10 May 2019
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