James Poskett

Historian of science and technology

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During the industrial revolution, the Royal Navy was looking for new ways to both improve navigation and control its workforce. A curious machine, invented by the clockmaker Edward Massey, seemed the perfect solution. In this video, I explore the history of science and technology at sea.

For more, see my YouTube channel on the history of science.


I have curated a number of exhibitions at museums and libraries.

I have also worked as a consultant for the Science Museum, London and undertaken a research internership at the National Maritime Museum.


I write for national newspapers, websites and magazines about the history of science, empire and print.

I've completed work for Nature, The Guardian, BBC History Magazine, the Wellcome Trust and many others.

Selected publications

‘Five millennia of Indian science’, Nature, 18 October 2017.

‘Victorian phrenology’, BBC History Magazine, 3 December 2015.

‘Skulls in print’, University of Cambridge: Research News, 19 February 2014.

‘Django Unchained and phrenology’, The Guardian, 5 February 2013.

‘Mathematics: a life computed’, Nature, 21 June 2012.

‘From Arabick Roots to the Arab Spring’, The Guardian, 25 July 2011.


In 2012 I was awarded the Best Newcomer Prize by the Association of British Science Writers for my work on the history of science.

I was also shortlisted for the BBC New Generation Thinkers award in 2013.