Dr. Edward Gillin
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Edward is a cultural historian who specializes in British science, technology, architecture, and politics in the nineteenth century. He is examining the intersections between music and science with particular emphasis on how materialistic conceptions of how sound worked fashioned new approaches to music. He has a keen interest in both the efforts to understand sound and the attempts to mechanically replicate it. Focusing on Britain between 1815 and 1900, he traces on how sound was central to experimental culture and how this work shaped broader scientific work, especially by individuals such as Mary Somerville, John Herschel, William Whewell, and John Tyndall.
Before joining the project, he collected a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2015. Working under the supervision of Professor William Whyte, he completed a thesis examining the uses of scientific knowledge in the building of Charles Barry’s new Houses of Parliament at Westminster between 1834 and 1860. This project united histories of science and architecture with broader political history. The findings from this work will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.
He has published works on the Cunard Steamship Company, nineteenth-century evangelicalism, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern steamship, Augustus Pugin, and the links between Victorian geology and architecture. Additionally he has recently completed several biographies for Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and a textbook for Pearson Publishing on political protest between 1780 and 1928, including studies of the Contagious Diseases Acts, the campaign for women’s suffrage, and the 1926 General Strike. During the summer of 2016 he worked as research assistant to the ESRC funded “The Professions in Nineteenth-Century Britain” project.
For his work on architecture and geology in the mid-nineteenth century he received the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s (SAHGB) Hawksmoor Medal and for his article on sermons and the Great Eastern Steamship he was awarded the 2016 Usher Prize from the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). He also received the 2013 Jane Willis Kirkaldy Senior Prize for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oxford for an essay on the marine architect John Scott Russell.
He is currently a supervisor in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Cambridge, focusing on nineteenth-century laboratory culture. He is also a postdoctoral associate member of Trinity College.