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Dr Alexi Baker

Dr Alexi Baker

Mellon-Newton Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities [CRASSH]

Departments and Institutes

History & Philosophy of Science:
Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests

I am interested in all manner of digital tools for research, analysis, communication and outreach in the humanities. I've made extensive use of such tools in my own research including by constructing digital maps and databases for data storage and analysis, by publishing online and using social media for work, and by using many online resources such as digitized archival holdings. I also have experience with publishing online and with creating and maintaining websites from my earlier training as a science journalist. My main academic research subjects are currently the 'scientific' instrument trade of eighteenth-century London and the perceptions and uses of its wares, the British Board of Longitude, and a wide variety of attendant themes.

Key Publications

In addition to posting on the Board of Longitude project blog ( and contributing extensively to the CUL's associated JISC-funded project to digitise the Board's papers (, I discuss the use of digital tools in the humanities and reference digital-aided research and analyses in publications including these:

* ‘Vernacular GIS: mapping early modern geography and socio-economics’, in Alexander von Lünen and Charles Travis (eds.), History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections (Springer, 2013), 89-110.

* ‘“Precision”, “perfection” and the reality of British scientific instruments on the move during the 18th Century’, Material Culture Review 74-75 (Spring 2012), 14-29.

* Review of Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth, Selling Science in the Age of Newton: Advertising and the Commoditization of Knowledge (Farnham, 2010), British Journal for the History of Science, 44 (2011), 595-597.

* 'The business of life: the socioeconomics of the "scientific" instrument trade in early modern London', in F-E. Eliassen & K. Szende (eds.), Generations in Towns: Succession and Success in Pre-Industrial Urban Societies (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2009), 169–191.

* 'Reading between the lines: the instrument trade in the newspapers of 18th-century London', Scientific Instrument Society Bulletin, 102 (2009), 12–17.

* 'The London instrument trade, from Culpeper to Cole', in B. Grob & H. Hooijmaijers (eds.), Who needs scientific instruments? (Leiden, The Netherlands, 2006), 99–105.