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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, 53:4 (2020): 443-467.

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)