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Sam Robinson

Teaching Associate

Research interests

History of ocean sciences, science & politics, and science diplomacy; in the context of the Global Cold War; geo-physical sciences; surveillance and intelligence; Atoms for Peace, oceanography and marine science; naval architecture and marine engineering; science and war, in particular, radar/sonar, engineering in WW2, Dreadnought battleships to nuclear submarines, underwater acoustics; Politics, science and governance, Science diplomacy; environmental politics; science policy; science, international relations and the Global South; science at the UN/UNESCO; histories of infrastructures; Socio-technical imaginaries/futures, in particular, Science fiction and the history of science; governmentalities of technoscientific imaginaries; science and dystopia/utopia; 'experimental' technology; Climate science; Nuclear History.

Following a ERC funded PhD at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine of the University of Manchester as part of the Earth Under Surveillance Project. I completed my first book on ocean sciences at the National Institute of Oceanography during the Early Cold War: Ocean Science and the British Cold War State (2018). I subsequently joined the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) at the University of York as a research associate on the AHRC-funded Unsettling Scientific Stories Project (2016–2019) where I worked on the relationship between imagined science futures and the history of socio-technical futures within the British State. Since 2018 I have been a member of the Horizon 2020 European Commission-funded InsSciDe project that aims to investigate the history of science diplomacy between European and the world. Between 2019–20 I was Lecturer in the History of Science and Technology at the University of Kent. At Cambridge I am a member of the Making Climate Histories Project.

My current research concerns the development of scientific governance of the global ocean during the second half of the twentieth century.

Publications

'Scientific imaginaries and science diplomacy: the case of ocean exploitation', Centaurus (2020)

'Early Twentieth-Century Ocean Science Diplomacy: Competition and Cooperation among North Sea Nations', Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2020)

Ocean Science and the British Cold War State (Palgrave, 2018)

With Lino Camprubí, 'A Gateway to Ocean Circulation: Surveillance and Sovereignty at Gibraltar', Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2016)

'Stormy Seas: Anglo-American Negotiations on Ocean Surveillance' in Turchetti & Roberts, The Surveillance Imperative: Geosciences during the Cold War and Beyond (Palgrave, 2014).

Professional activities

Reviews Editor, British Journal for the History of Science

Chair of the Conference Committee of the British Society for the History of Science

Teaching

I lecture on the history of twentieth century science and technology. I am happy to supervise Part II, Part III and MPhil essays and dissertations on a range of topics in the history of science and technology from 1800 to the present.

Sam Robinson