Fellow: Fyfe
Elected: 2022
Discipline: Language, Literature and History
Professor Aileen Fyfe
Professor of Modern History, University of St Andrews
Aileen Fyfe is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews. She was born in Glasgow, educated at Cambridge, and spent a decade at the National University of Ireland, Galway, before returning to Scotland in 2010. She is a historian of science and technology, with particular interests in the communication of scientific knowledge. Her latest book is “A History of Scientific Journals: publishing at the Royal Society, 1665-2015” (available open access from UCL Press). It tells the history of the editing, financing and publishing of scientific journals over the last 350 years, through the lens of the journals of the Royal Society (of London). She is actively involved in the current debates about the future of academic publishing, peer review and open access.
Aileen’s earlier research investigated various ways in which knowledge about the natural world has been communicated to non-expert audiences, and considers questions of popularisation, education, and communication technologies. Her prize-winning Steam-Powered Knowledge (Chicago, 2012) used the experiences of the Edinburgh firm W&R Chambers to investigate the ways in which new technologies were incorporated into the business systems of educational publishers. She is currently writing a book on the Victorian information revolution.