Professor Graeme Gooday

Professor Graeme Gooday

Head of School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Professor of History of Science and Technology

+44 (0)113 343 3274

Summary: Social History of Laboratories and Instruments, especially physics; History of Electrical Technology, especially telecommunications; Gender and Technology, Histories of patenting.


Selected Publications

  • Arapostathis S. and G. Gooday, Patently Contestable: Electrical Technologies and Inventor Identities on Trial in Britain MIT Press 2013
  • With Daniel Mitchell (equal co-author) ‘Rethinking Classical Physics’ in Jed Z. Buchwald and Robert Fox (editors) .The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics. Oxford University Press, 2013, pp.721-764.
  • ‘Electricity and the Sociable Circulation of Fear and Fearlessness’, in David  N. Livingstone  & Charles W. Withers (eds.), Geographies of nineteenth-century science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011, 203-228

Other Publications


  • Domesticating Electricity: Technology, Uncertainty and Gender in Late Nineteenth-Century Culture.
  • (co-edited with Robert Fox) Physics in Oxford 1839-1939: Laboratories, Learning and College Life, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • The Morals of Measurement: Accuracy, Irony and Trust in Late Victorian Electrical Practice, New York/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • (with Geoffrey Cantor, Gowan Dawson, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jonathan Topham), Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.


  • With Abigail Harrison-Moore  ‘Decorative Electricity: Standen and the Aesthetics of New Lighting Technologies in the Nineteenth Century Home, Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 35(2013), 363-383.
  • Gooday, G, ‘Combative Patenting: military entrepreneurship in First World War telecommunications’ in special issue ‘Owning and Disowning Invention’ ed. Greg Radick and Christine MacLeod, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science - A,  44 (2), June 2013, pp. 247–258
  • Gooday, G and Arapostathis, A. Electrical technoscience and physics in transition, 1880–1920 in a special themed issue ‘Owning and Disowning Invention’ ed. Greg Radick and Christine MacLeod, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science - A,  44(2) June 2013, pp. 202–211
  • Gooday, G, ‘“Vague and Artificial” The Historically Elusive Distinction between Pure and Applied Science’  Isis, 2012, 103(3):546-54.
  • Book contributions Co-authored with Elizabeth Bruton: ‘Collaboration then competition: Marconi and the British Post Office, 1886-1906’, in Mario Giorgi and Barbara Valotti (eds.), Guglielmo Marconi: Wireless Laureate. Bononia: Bononia University Press: 2010
  • ‘Domesticating the Magnet: Secularity, Secrecy, and Permanency as Epistemic Boundaries in Marie Curie’s Early Work’. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 3 (2009) 67-80.
  • 'Cosmos, Climate and Culture: Manchester Meteorology Made Universal', Manchester Region History Review, 18 (2007), 64-83.
  • 'Illuminating the Expert-Consumer Relationship in Domestic Electricity', in Aileen Fyfe and Bernard Lightman, eds., Popular Science: Nineteenth-Century Sites and Experiences, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, forthcoming 2007).
  • 'Electrical futures past', Endeavour 29 (2005), pp.150-55.
  • 'Robert Bellamy Clifton and the "depressing inheritance" of the Clarendon Laboratory, 1877-1919', in Robert Fox and Graeme Gooday, eds., Physics in Oxford 1839-1939: Laboratories, Learning and College Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp.80-118.
  • 'Fear, Shunning, and Valuelessness: Controversy over the Use of "Cambridge" Mathematics in Late Victorian Electro-Technology', in David Kaiser, ed., Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), pp.111-49.
  • '"I will never have the Electric Light in my house": Alice Gordon and the Gendered Periodical Representation of a Contentious new Technology', in Louise Henson, Geoffrey Cantor, Gowan Dawson, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, Jonathan Topham, eds., Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (Basingstoke: Ashgate Publishing, 2004), pp.173-85.
  • 'Sun-Spots, Weather and the Unseen Universe: Balfour Stewart's Anti-Materialist Representations of Energy in British Periodicals', in Geoffrey Cantor and Sally Shuttleworth, eds., Science Serialized: Representations of the Sciences in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2004), pp.111-47.
  • 'Profit and prophecy: Electricity in the Late Victorian Periodical', in G. N. Cantor, G. Dawson, G. Gooday, R. Noakes, S. Shuttleworth, and J.R. Topham, Reading the Magazine of Nature: Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). pp. 238-254.
  • Articles on William Edward Ayrton, Charles V. Boys, J.D. Everett, John Ambrose Fleming, Frederick Guthrie, Alexander B.W. Kennedy, Lyon Playfair, Balfour Stewart, Silvanus P. Thompson for the New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • 'Cry "Good for history, Cambridge and Saint George"?' [Essay Review of Mary Jo Nye (Ed.); The Cambridge History of Science, Vol. 5. The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)], Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 35 (2004), 861-72.
  • 'How Do Different Student Constituencies (not) Learn the History and Philosophy of their Subject? Case Studies from Science, Technology and Medicine', PRS-LTSN Journal 1 (2001-02), 141-55.
  • 'Spot-watching, Bodily Postures and the "Practised Eye"': The Material Practice of Instrument Reading in Late Victorian Electrical Life', in Iwan Morus, ed., Bodies/Machines (Oxford: Berg, 2002), pp.165-95.
  • 'The Flourishing of History of Technology in the United Kingdom: A Critique of Antiquarian Complaints of "Neglect"', History of Technology, 2001.
  • 'The Questionable Matter of Electricity: The Reception of J. J. Thomson's "Corpuscle" among Electrical Theorists and Technologists', in Histories of the Electron: The Birth of Microphysics, ed. by J. Z. Buchwald and A. Warwick (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2001).
  • Articles on 'Practice', 'Electrical Instruments', 'Instruments as Embodied Theory', in Readers Guide to the History of Science, ed. by Arne Hessenbruch (London & Chicago: Fitzroy-Dearborn Press, 2000).
  • 'Lies, Damned Lies and Declinism: Lyon Playfair, the Paris 1867 Exhibition and the Contested Rhetorics of Scientific Education and Industrial Performance', in The Golden Age: Essays in British Social and Economic History, 1850-70, ed. by I. Inkster (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000).
  • 'A la jonction entre science et industrie', Les Cahiers de Science et Vie 51 (1999), 36-40.
  • (with Morris Low) 'Technology Transfer and Cultural Exchange: Western Scientists and Engineers Encounter late Tokugawa and Meiji Japan', Osiris 13 (1998-99), 251-80.
  • 'The Premisses of Premisses: Spatial Issues in the Historical Construction of Laboratory Credibility', in Making Space for Science: Territorial Themes in the Making of Knowledge, ed. by C. W. Smith and J. Agar (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), pp. 216-45.
  • 'Re-Writing the "Book of Blots": Critical Reflections on Histories of Technical Failure,' History and Technology 14 (1998), 265-91.
  • 'Taking Apart the Roads Ahead: User Power Versus the Futurology of IT', Convergence 4 (1998), 8-16.
  • Articles on the 'Ammeter' and 'Voltmeter', in Encyclopedia of Scientific Instruments, ed. by R. Bud and D. J. Warner (New York/London: Garland Academic, 1998).
  • 'Instrumentation and Interpretation: Managing and Representing the Working Environments of Victorian Experimental Science', in Victorian Science in Context, ed. by B. Lightman (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1997), pp. 409-37.
  • (equal joint authorship with Sophie Forgan) 'Constructing South Kensington: The Buildings and Politics of T. H. Huxley's Working Environments", British Journal for the History of Science 29 (1996), 435-68.
  • 'The Morals of Energy Metering: Constructing and Deconstructing the Precision of the Victorian Electrical Engineer's Ammeter', in The Values of Precision, ed. M. N. Wise (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), pp. 239-82.
  • (equal joint authorship with Sophie Forgan) "'A Fungoid Assemblage of Buildings": Diversity and Adversity in the Development of College Architecture and Scientific Education in Nineteenth-Century South Kensington', History of Universities 13 (1994), 153-92.
  • 'Faraday Reinvented: Moral Imagery and Institutional Icons in Victorian Electrical Engineering', History of Technology 15 (1993), 190-205.
  • '"Nature" in the Laboratory: Domestication and Discipline with the Microscope in Victorian Life Science', British Journal for the History of Science 24 (1991), 307-41.
  • 'Teaching Telegraphy and Electrotechnics in the Physics Laboratory: William Ayrton and the Creation of an Academic Space for Electrical Engineering 1873-84', History of Technology 13 (1991), 73-114.
  • 'Precision Measurement and the Genesis of Physics Teaching Laboratories in Victorian Britain', British Journal for the History of Science 23 (1990), 25-51 (revised version of BSHS 'Singer Prize' paper).

Downloadable versions of papers freely available via White Rose Research Online.