Addison Wheeler Fellowship - Previous Fellows
Since its inception in the 1970s the Addison Wheeler Fellowship has supported the careers of over 30 early-career postdoctoral researchers. Typically, former Fellows have progressed to senior positions within universities and research institutes. For more information about the work undertaken while a Fellow at Durham and/or the Fellow’s current research profile please click on the hyperlinked names below.
|Professor EF Corrigan||1972-1974||Mathematics|
|Professor Richard GM Morris||1973-1975||Neuroscience|
|Dr EC Saxon||ca 1977||Anthropology|
|Dr DDR Williams||1978||Biomedical Sciences|
|Dr Christopher John Jones||ca 1977||Biomedical Sciences|
|Professor JA Gatehouse||1979-1984||Biosciences|
|Professor LR Harris||1980-1983||Psychology|
|Dr CJ Jones||ca 1982||Biomedical Sciences|
|Professor AM Derrington||ca 1983||Psychology|
|Winthrop Professor David Badcock||1984||Psychology|
|Dr JJA Scott||1986||Zoology|
|Dr Robert J Allison||1987||Geography|
|Dr Caroline Ross||1993||Anthropology|
|Professor Steve Faulkner||1993-1998||Chemistry|
|DR AJ Reynolds||1994||Biosciences|
|Professor Fiona Newell||1995-1999||Psychology|
|Professor Stephen Faulkner||1997||Chemistry|
|Dr Una Strand Vidarsdottir||ca 2001||Anthropology|
|Dr Sonia Zakrzewski||ca 2003||Archaeology|
|Dr Mark Skipsey||2004||Biology and Biomedical Sciences|
|Professor Russell Hill||2005||Anthropology|
|Professor HC Greenwell||2007-2010||Earth Science/Chemistry|
|Dr Simon Beaumont||2012||Chemistry|
|Dr Sushma Grellscheid||2012||Biological and Biomedical Sciences|
|Dr Thomas Hinton||2012||Modern Languages and Cultures|
|Dr Ian James Kidd||2012||Philosophy|
|Dr Thomas Scott-Phillips||2012||Anthropology|
|Dr Alex Brown||2013||History|
|Dr Daniel Knight||2013||Anthropology|
|Dr Christopher Prior||2013||Mathematics|
|Dr Alice Wilson||2014||Anthropology|
|Dr Pratika Dayal||2014||Physics|
|Dr Rachael Wiseman||2014||Philosophy|
|Dr Rachel Bryant-Davies||2016/17||Classics & Ancient History|
|Dr Tom Robinson||2016/17||Geography|
This table has been largely retrospectively compiled and we apologise for any omissions, Please use the contact the IAS page and we will happily update any errors.
Department of History
Estates, institutions and economic change in rural England, 1300-1700: production, consumption and living standards. This project explored the transformation of English rural society from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century which saw the end of serfdom, the expropriation of peasants and widespread landlessness, and the development of agrarian capitalism. Current explanations of these changes have focused upon changes in the size of the population, the extent of commercialisation and class conflict. This project tested the robustness of this economic determinism, showing that other noneconomic factors, such as the structural role played by estates and institutional constraints, created important changes in the production and consumption patterns of small-scale agricultural producers. The Durham region was compared with north-east Kent in the first attempt of its kind to measure the effect of estates and institutions in generating changes in agricultural productivity, leading to exploration of the changing living standards and socio-economic outlooks of peasants across the medieval and early-modern divide. Further comparisons to modern agrarian societies were made to increase the dialogue between historians and those studying modern agrarian societies, exploring the factors which affected agricultural productivity, including institutional policies, investment levels, security of tenure, and the social aspirations of peasants.
Post Fellowship Dr Brown remained at Durham University as Assistant Professor (Late Medieval and Early Modern British History) in the Department of History.
Dr Pratika Dayal asks if there is life out there
Humans have long wondered: “Are we alone in the Universe?” After all, the Earth is just one planet in one galaxy among hundreds of billions that exist across the cosmos. Now a team of scientists are attempting to solve this mystery by building the first cosmobiological model to explore the habitability of the Universe. Led by Dr Pratika Dayal, of Durham University, the researchers hope their model will help identify galaxies with potential to host life as we know it.
Physics / Institute of Computational Cosmology
The research focuses on understanding the first billion years of galaxy evolution. As the first sources of light in a Universe that had slowly gone dark after its violent inception in the Big Bang, these galaxies ushered in the era of ‘cosmic dawn’. These galaxies represent the primary building blocks of all subsequent galaxy populations. They also produced the earliest photons capable of tearing apart atoms of the hydrogen gas permeating all of space, starting the ‘epoch of reionization’. This is the last major "event” which remains to be uncovered in the history of the Universe, and is at the forefront of astrophysical research.
The research aimed to build a complete theoretical picture of galaxy formation and evolution in the first billion years to answer three fundamental questions:
(a) how did these galaxies drive reionization?
(b) what are their physical properties?
(c) how do they evolve into the galaxies observed today?
Surveys are providing the first tantalising glimpses of early galaxy assembly with data imminently expected from multi-hundred million pound observational facilities. Dr Dayal brought expertise which extends that already available in the ICC and enabled the University to take a leading role in the analysis of experiments such as LOFAR, which are high profile facilities run by international consortia. Unlocking the mysteries of the early Universe hidden in these colossal and complex datasets is utterly dependent on the theoretical models that Dr Dayal developed in her Fellowship.
Following her Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Dayal became an Assistant Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Kapteyn Institute at Groningen University. http://pratika24.wixsite.com/pratika-dayal
School of Modern Languages and Cultures / Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (now IMEMS).
The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were a period of massive expansion in the production of manuscripts for non-Latinate audiences, as courts and the high bourgeoisie developed a taste for the consumption and collection of vernacular literature. During his Fellowship Dr Hinton proposed a twin research strategy, with both threads bearing on the analysis of this phenomenon. His monograph examines how the development of lay literacy in the thirteenth century affected the status of vernacular languages and their literary traditions, focusing on French and Occitan. The dissemination of troubadour song took off with the appearance of anthological lyric manuscripts, transforming troubadour culture into a written tradition and establishing Occitan as a legitimate language of writing, sharing some of the prestige and rigour of Latin. This emerging conception of the written vernacular then influenced French literature, as testified by a burgeoning confidence in the possibilities of French as a language of cultural record. Alongside this work, Dr. Hinton was involved in a collaborative study of how the examination of medieval library collections might inform our reading of medieval French texts. This project, led by Dr Luke Sunderland at Durham, considered why particular texts were collected together, and how libraries responded to and shaped reading practices.
In 2013, following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Hinton took up a lectureship at Exeter University: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/modernlanguages/staff/hinton/
Department of Philosophy
Kidd’s research project ‘Epistemic Humility: Virtue, Enquiry and the Limits of Human Knowledge’ aims to provide a systematic account of the virtue of epistemic humility. It brings together contemporary research in virtue epistemology and the philosophy of science within a historical framework. The project has three parts. The first examines the changing conceptions of epistemic humility from the history of early modern philosophy to the present. The second then develops a systematic account of the virtue of epistemic humility using the historical material from part one and the contemporary philosophical literature. Epistemic humility emerges as a predisposition to chart and act according to the changing limits of one’s knowledge and understanding, especially in relation to other enquirers. Dr Kidd defends his account of the virtue against the three prevailing criticisms of the virtue of humility and indicates its advantages over rival accounts. The third part then demonstrates how epistemic humility can be applied in the context of scientific enquiry, focusing on case studies involving risk and uncertainty, future planning and disagreement between experts. Dr Kidd concludes that the virtue of epistemic humility offers new ways of understanding how enquirers can respond positively to their limitations without lapsing into pessimism, and thereby inform and enrich enquiry.
Dr Kidd was founder and chair of the Durham Philosophy Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) and is a Friend of the Society for Women in Philosophy (UK). During his Fellowship he held a fixed-term lectureship at the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds. In 2015, following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Kidd took became an Assistant Professor at Nottingham University: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/philosophy/people/ian.kidd and https://sites.google.com/site/dfl2ijk/
Anthropology / Durham Energy Institute
“Let There Be Light: debt, materiality and the Greek photovoltaic initiative”. In 2011 solar energy was heralded as the economic saviour of the Greek state just as the nation headed towards bankruptcy and the country descends into social chaos. Renewable energy was viewed as a long-term solution to fiscal austerity, international dependency and European security. In 2011 the Greek government launched an ambitious programme to enhance economic sustainability through the development and export of solar energy. New solar energy projects offered an alternative to petroleum and electricity that dominated the energy sector.
Scaling the photovoltaic initiative from the level of macroeceonomic policy to everyday practice, this project engaged with contemporary debate in the social sciences concerning debt, deterritorialisation, network agency, historicity, and sustainability. The concept of materiality leads to a precise understanding of the relationship between actors and networks (energy, finance, rhetoric), promoting a social-scientific appreciation of human and non-human connectivity, interaction and exchange. Considering this dynamism, the transformative relational materiality of solar energy is analysed within the context of global economic crisis and Greece’s struggle to repay national debt. The research significantly built on previous fieldwork undertaken as part of the Durham Energy Institute’s Small Grants Scheme (‘Under the Wings of Daedalus’) and acts as a blueprint for further understanding the role of renewable energy in times of extreme socioeconomic turmoil.
Following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Knight became a lecturer and Leverhulme Fellow at St Andrews University https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/anthropology/dept/staff/?staffid=260. Daniel is Associate Editor of History and Anthropology journal (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ghan) and a member of the British Academy development board for the British School at Athens. His research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, National Bank of Greece.
Department of Anthropology
Dr Thom Scott-Phillips’ research focuses on evolutionary and cognitive approaches to the human mind and culture, and in particular to communication and language. He employs a variety of research methods: controlled cognitive science experiments, mathematical and computational models, and theoretical, cross-disciplinary synthesis
Language is arguably humanity’s most defining characteristic, yet its evolutionary origins are unclear. Those origins include both the biological evolution of the cognitive abilities required to create, acquire and use language; and the cultural evolution of languages. Comparative research with other primate species has revealed both the extent of the cognitive abilities required for human communication, and the likely selection pressures that led to their evolution. At the same time, research on the cultural evolution of communication systems shows that they adapt to the different constraints placed upon them. However, these cultural evolutionary processes have not been studied with any systematic consideration of the role played by cognition. Dr. Scott-Phillips used the Addison Wheeler Fellowship to investigate how cognition affects the cultural origins and subsequent evolution of communication systems. This will allowed an account of the origins of language that integrates both the biological evolution of the cognitive capacity for language with the cultural evolution of languages to be developed. Furthermore, since language is the paradigmatic example of a culturally transmitted behaviour, the findings will provide a case study of the role that cognitive processes play in the evolution of culture more generally. During his Fellowship his first book, Speaking Our Minds, was published in November 2014. He also received a Future Research Leaders grant and an early-career fellowship from the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust
Following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Scott-Phillips became a Senior Research Scientist in the Social Mind Centre at Central European University, Budapest https://thomscottphillips.wordpress.com/
Anthropology / Durham Global Security Institute
‘Arabian Dilemmas: becoming citizens in southern Oman’. The Arab Spring highlighted intense demands for democratisation, but also the tenacity of authoritarianism fuelled by patronage and foreign support. In the wake of the Arab uprisings, scholars, policy-makers, and activists have analysed the importance of mass protests, cross-party coalitions, and new social media networks for precipitating reforms. They have also underlined how subsidies in oil-rich states shore up authoritarianism. Dr Wilson’s research explores mobilisation that emerges against the flow of government subsidies, and alternative democratic openings under authoritarianism. She examined how shifts across authoritarian Gulf monarchies towards widened political and economic participation are forming new kinds of Gulf citizens. Specifically, the project focuses on Dhufar, southern Oman, where government subsidies helped secure the defeat of Dhufar’s revolutionary movement in 1975. The project centred on an ethnographic study of a Dhufari tribal electoral league that recently elected the first black Omani to the National Consultative Council.
The research was exceptionally timely and important not only in investigating alternative democratic possibilities in the Arab world but in providing a vital, and hitherto missing, link in Durham between the Durham Energy Institute (DEI), the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) and the Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi).
Department of Philosophy / Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society
I studied at UCL and York and have had teaching fellowships at York and Durham before being awarded an Addison Wheeler Research Fellowship at Durham. I work at the intersection of philosophy of mind, action and ethics and during my fellowship I wrote a book (Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Anscombe’s Intention) along with several articles on philosophy of mind and ethics. I also developed two collaborative research projects that will provide a frame for my future research. The Integrity Project (www.integrityproject.org) looks at the meaning and importance of integrity. I was awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for work with a local arts organisation exploring artistic integrity and arts fundraising. I am collaborating with Clare MacCumhaill (Durham University) on a BA-funded project that explores the work and friendships of four women philosophers who met at Oxford during WWII: Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch (www.womeninparenthesis.co.uk). As well as studying the philosophy of four wonderfully creative thinkers we want to understand why there are so few women in philosophy and to work out what we might do about it!
In 2017 her Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Wiseman took up a lectureship at Liverpool University