Four year AHRC Award for the study of the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions

©The Royal Society

Frontispiece of the first volume of the Philosophical Transactions ©The Royal Society

Dr Aileen Fyfe has been awarded a £790,000 research grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council for a four-year project telling the story of the world’s oldest surviving scientific journal.

Philosophical Transactions has been published by the Royal Society in London since 1665, and will be celebrating its 350th anniversary in 2015. The funding will support two postdoctoral researchers, who will use the unrivalled resources of the Royal Society’s archives to investigate issues – such as the origins of peer review, and the relationship between profitability and the publication of scholarly knowledge – that are at the heart of the knowledge-based economy.

Dr Fyfe says: ‘Philosophical Transactions is the most famous scientific journal in the history of science, yet the details of the commercial, economic and editorial practices which lie behind the ground-breaking research published in its pages have barely been studied. Our project will build upon existing scholarship on the early years of the journal, but will pursue the story into the era of industrial printing, the professionalization of science, and ultimately, electronic publishing. We are particularly interested in the gradual development, adaptation and decline of editorial practices, commercial strategies and technological processes.’

Electrical apparatus 1778 ©The Royal Society

Electrical apparatus 1778 ©The Royal Society

One postdoctoral researcher has been appointed to the project, Dr Noah Moxham, whose doctoral research was on the administrative and organisational structures of the early Royal Society. The second four-year postdoctoral research position will be advertised in January and is for a scholar with expertise in late nineteenth and twentieth century history of science and/or history of publishing. The postdoctoral researchers will be based at the Royal Society.

©The Royal Society

Plate accompanying a 1665 paper ©The Royal Society

See also

©The Royal Society

Plate accompanying a 1724 paper ©The Royal Society

About standrewshistory
With over forty fulltime members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from Scotland to Byzantium and the Americas to South Asia. Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching, allowing for in-depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

2 Responses to Four year AHRC Award for the study of the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions

  1. Pingback: Job Vacancy: Post-Doctoral Researcher, ‘Publishing the Philosophical Transactions’ AHRC Project « St Andrews School of History

  2. Pingback: Spotlight on Aileen Fyfe | St Andrews School of History

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