Research Interests of Martha Fleming

My research interests focus on intersections between museology and history of collecting, history of science, history of the book, and visual culture. This is not historically bound by period: what is of interest to me is the interdisciplinarity of the specific intersections between these fields, and what it can tell us at any given time about epistemologies of disciplines and knowledge practices.

I hold an MA in the History of the Book from the University of London Institute for Advanced Study (Commonwealth Scholar) and my doctorate, awarded by the School of Art, Architecture and Design of Leeds Metropolitan University, addressed emerging interdisciplinary methodologies between the arts and the sciences in the context of science museums.

For me, museums are not just a place to study, but also a place to practice. I have held various creative, managerial and curatorial positions at the Royal Society, The Natural History Museum (London), the Science Museum (London), and the Medical Museion (Copenhagen) among others. I have made contributions to research projects at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), notably the ‘History of Scientific Observation’ and ‘Sciences of the Archive’ strands.

Most recently, I was seconded from 2009-2011 into the Natural History Museum via the Vice Chancellor’s Investment Fund of Kingston University in order to assist in the development of the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research at the NHM. Among other research development activities, I was co-author (for the NHM), alongside Dr Kim Sloan of the British Museum and Liz Lewis of the British Library, of the 60-page Project Initiation Document for Reconstructing Sloane – the large-scale research project which proposes to investigate and reunite the collections of Sir Hans Sloane now spread across the three institutions.

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