Professor Matthew Daniel Eddy, BA, MA, PhD
I am a historian of early modern Europe. The aim of my research and teaching is to explore how, why and where different kinds of people learned to create, represent and value scientific knowledge ca. 1660 to 1900. I am fascinated by the ways science was used to understand nature as changeable entity that evolved over time. Under this rubric I have longstanding interests in the history of gender, race, childhood, disability and the environment.
My recent book Rewriting Reason: The Art and Science of Student Notebooks during the Scottish Enlightenment (Chicago: 2021) tells the story of how children created fascinating forms of communications media that helped them understand themselves and the natural world. My first book, The Language of Mineralogy: John Walker, Chemistry and the Edinburgh Medical School (Routledge: 2008), reveals the vital interface that took place between the humanities and medicine in early modern environmental history.
I’ve worked at Princeton, Harvard, MIT, UCLA, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) and Caltech. My research has been supported through grants or fellowships awarded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Royal Society of London, the Wellcome Trust, the Huntington Library, the Mellon Foundation and Durham’s Institute for Advanced Study.
In addition to serving on the executive councils for the British Society for the History of Science and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, I've given evidence for a number of British government organisations (including the Department of Work and Pensions) and I served as an assessor for the National Research Exercise coordinated for the Greek Ministry of Education.
I live in Durham with my wife, children and a pet spider named Marioula. My articles and books are downloadable from Academia. My twitter handle is @BookScribbler.
I supervise theses and dissertations on all aspects of science and society from the 17th- to early 20th-century, and on the cultural history of gender, race, childhood and the environment.
- Environmental History
- Gender History
- History of Childhood
- History of Information
- History of Mental Health
- Postcolonial History
- History of Science and Society
- Eddy, M. (2008). The Language of Mineralogy: John Walker, Chemistry and the Edinburgh Medical School, 1750-1800. Routledge.
Chapter in book
- Eddy, Matthew D (2019). 'Family Notebooks, Mnemotechnics and the Rational Education of Margaret Monro'. In Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge. Bittel, Carla Leong, Elaine & von Oertzen, Christine University of Pittsburgh Press. 160-176, 269-272.
- Eddy, Matthew D. (2016). 'The Cognitive Unity of Calvinist Pedagogy in Enlightenment Scotland'. In Reformed Churches Working in Unity and Diversity. Kovács, Ábrahám. L'Harmattan Publishing House. 46-60.
- Eddy, M. (2013). Nineteenth-Century Natural Theology. In The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology. Russell Re Manning Oxford: Oxford University Press. 100-117.
- Eddy, M. (2010). Natural History, Natural Philosophy and Readership. In The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Vol II: Enlightenment and Expansion, 1707-1800. Brown, S. & McDougall, W. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.
- Eddy, M. (2010). The Sparkling Nectar of Spas; or, Mineral Water as a Medically Commodifiable Material in the Province, 1770–1805. In Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe: Between Market and Laboratory. Klein, U. & Spary, E. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 283-292.
- Eddy, M., Mauskopf, S. & Newman, W. (2014). Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World. Osiris. Chicago: University of Chicago.
- (2011). Prehistoric Minds: Human Origins as a Cultural Artefact, 1780-2010. Royal Society of London.
- Eddy, M. & Knight, D. (2008). William Paley’s Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity. Modern Classics Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Eddy, M. & Knight, D. (2005). Science and Beliefs: From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700-1900. Aldershot: London: Routledge.
- Eddy, Matthew D. (2018). 'The Nature of Notebooks: How Enlightenment Schoolchildren Transformed the Tabula Rasa'. Journal of British Studies 57(2): 275-307.
- Eddy, Matthew D. (2017). 'The Politics of Cognition: Liberalism and the Evolutionary Origins of Victorian Education'. British Journal for the History of Science 50(4): 677-699.
- Eddy, Matthew (2016). The Child Writer: Graphic Literacy and the Scottish Educational System, 1700-1820. History of Education 45(6): 695-718.
- Eddy, M. (2016). The Interactive Notebook: How Students Learned to Keep Notes during the Scottish Enlightenment. Book History 19(1): 86-131.
- Eddy, Matthew Daniel (2014). How to See a Diagram: A Visual Anthropology of Chemical Affinity. Osiris 29(1): 178-196.
- Eddy, Matthew Daniel (2013). The Shape of Knowledge: Children and the Visual Culture of Literacy and Numeracy. Science in Context 26(2): 215-245.
- Eddy, M. (2011). The Line of Reason: Hugh Blair, Spatiality and the Progressive Structure of Language. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 65(1): 9-24.
- Eddy, M. (2011). The Prehistoric Mind as a Historical Artefact. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 65(1): 1-8.
- Eddy, M. (2010). The Alphabets of Nature: Children, Books and Natural History in Scotland, circa 1750-1800. Nuncius 25(1): 1-22.
- Eddy, M. (2010). Tools for reordering:Commonplacing and the Space of Words in Linnaeus' Philosophia Botanica. Intellectual History Review 20(2): 227-252.