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Fiona Amery

PhD student

College: Selwyn
Supervisor: Richard Staley and Simon Schaffer (advisor)
Thesis topic: The visualisation and investigation of the aurora borealis during the International Polar and Geophysical years (1880-1960).
Research interests: History of atmospheric physics; Polar history; Visual history; Histories of International co-operation.


Teaching (2020/21)

  • HPS Part IB - History of Science (HPS1)
  • HPS Part II Paper 2 - Physical Sciences and Empire in the Victorian World
  • HPS Part II Paper 2 - The Nuclear Age

Peer-Reviewed Publications 

Fiona Amery, ''An attempt to trace illusions to their physical causes’: atmospheric mirages and the performance of their demystification in the 1820s and 1830s', The British Journal for the History of Science (forthcoming).

Fiona Amery, 'Thomas Baldwin and the Creation of the Hot Air Balloon as a Scientific and Aesthetic Site of Knowledge in the Late Eighteenth Century', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire (2020): 1-16.

Conference Presentations

'Colour Perception and Audibility: Sensing the Aurora Borealis During the Second International Polar Year, 1932-1933', The 9th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS): Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science, University of Bologna (online) - 2nd September 2020.


  • Cambridge Trust Vice-Chancellor's & Selwyn Littlefield Scholarship (2019-)
  • Santander & University of California, Berkeley Scholarship (2017)
  • Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire Dissertation Prize (2020)