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Jessica R. Ratcliff

Associate Professor

Morrill Hall
jrr47@cornell.edu

Educational Background

  • D.Phil., History, University of Oxford
  • M.Sc., History of Science, University of Oxford
  • B.A., Cognitive Science, Vassar College

Overview

Jessica Ratcliff works on the history of science and technology. She specialises in Britain and its former empire from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Her work so far has explored the historical relationship between forms of science and forms of state, in contexts ranging from technological invention and courtier culture in seventeenth-century England to state patronage of physical sciences in nineteenth-century Travancore. She is particularly interested in studying the connections between science and the state by way of economics and material culture. Her current book project is about data collections and systems of knowledge at the East India Company and the India Office in the nineteenth century.

Departments/Programs

  • Science and Technology Studies

Courses

Publications

  • "The East India Company, the Company's Museum, and the Political Economy of Natural History in the Early Nineteenth Century" Isis (September 2016)
  • "Travancore's Magnetic Crusade: geomagnetism and the geography of scientific production in a princely state" British Journal for the History of Science (June 2016) 
  • "The Great Data Divergence: Global History of Science within Global Economic History" in Global Scientific Practice during the Age of Revolutions (Patrick Manning and Dan Rood, eds., University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016)
  • "'Art to Cheat the Common-Weale': Inventors, Projectors and Patentees in English Satire, c. 1630-80" Technology and Culture 53(2) (2012)
  • The Transit of Venus Enterprise in Victorian Britain (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
  • "Models, Metaphors, and the Transit of Venus in Victorian Britain" Special issue: "The astronomical event of the century? Social history of the transits of Venus, 1874-1882" Cahiers François Viète 11—12 (2007)
  • "Samuel Morland and his Calculating Machines c. 1666: The Early Career of a Courtier-Inventor in Restoration London" British Journal for the History of Science 40(2) (2007)