I read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University as an undergraduate, studying physics, chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology, before deciding that I preferred libraries and museums to laboratories. After studying for an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science, I embarked on a PhD in the history of early modern astronomy. I was Jane Eliza Proctor Fellow at Princeton University, 1999-2000, and a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2000-2004, with an affiliation to the Cambridge University Department of History and Philosophy of Science.
I served on the Council of the British Society for the History of Science between 2006 and 2009, and was Reviews Editor for the British Journal for the History of Science from mid-2010 until mid-2015. I served as Chair of the Conferences Committee of the Society from 2016 to 2020.
I was a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities) and Wolfson College, of the University of Cambridge, in Michaelmas Term 2007, and a Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science & Technology at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, during the academic year 2015-2016.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member and the former Director of MEMO, Swansea's Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research, and a member of CODAH, the Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities. I have been Head of the History Department since 1 August 2020.