Executive Committee

Select members of the Society serve on an Executive Committee responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the ISIH and its day-to-day governance. Nominations are solicited from the membership by e-mail on an annual basis, and appointments are made by a four-strong elections and nominations subcommittee. Committee members are expected to serve a three-year term.


Michael Hunter (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Michael Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. For many years his chief preoccupation was Robert Boyle: he is the principal editor of Boyle’s Works (with Edward B. Davis, 14 volumes, 1999-2000), Correspondence (with Antonio Clerucuzio and Lawrence M. Principe, 6 vols., 2001) and workdiaries (with Charles Littleton, available online). He is also the author of Boyle: Between God and Science (2009), which won both the Samuel Pepys Award and the Roy G. Neville Prize in 2011, and of Boyle Studies: Aspects of the Life and Thought of Robert Boyle (2015). His numerous other books deal with various aspects of seventeenth-century intellectual history, including the early Royal Society and its milieu. In 2017 he published The Image of Restoration Science: The Frontispiece to Thomas Sprat’s ‘History of the Royal Society’ (1667) (co-authored with Jim Bennett), which also reflects the concern with the visual culture of the period that led him to set up the website, British Printed Images to 1700. Currently, he is writing a book on attitudes to magic in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a topic on which he has published various papers as well as The Occult Laboratory (2001), an edition of early accounts of second sight in Scotland.

General Secretary

Dana Jalobeanu (University of Bucharest)

JalobeanuDana Jalobeanu is Lecturer in philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and director of programs at the research center Foundations of Modern Thought, University of Bucharest. She has studied Physics and Philosophy and has a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science. She is currently working on seventeenth century natural philosophy, with a special interest in Francis Bacon. She is the Romanian coordinator of a joint ERC grant run through Warburg Institute (London) and New Europe College (Bucharest), ‘Francis Bacon and the Medicine of the Mind’. Her publications include Dana Jalobeanu & Peter Anstey (eds), Vanishing Matter and the Laws of Nature: Descartes and Beyond (Routledge: London, 2011); ‘Experimental Philosophers and Doctors of the Mind: The Appropriation of a Philosophical Tradition’, in Vlad Alexandrescu & Robert Theis (eds), Naturel et surnaturel: Philosophies de la nature et metaphysique aux XVI-XVII siecles (Georg Olms Verlag: Hildesheim, 2010), 37-63; ‘The Fascination of Solomon’s House in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Vlad Alexandrescu (ed.), Branching Off: The Early Moderns in Quest of the Unity of Knowledge (Zeta Books: Bucharest, 2009); ‘Bacon’s Brotherhood and its Classical Sources’, in Francis Bacon and the Birth of Technology, edited by Claus Zittel, Gisela Engel, Romano Nanni, Intersections 11/(2008), Brill, vol I, 197-230; ‘Space, Bodies and Geometry: Some Sources of Newton’s Metaphysics’, in Notions of Space and Time, edited by Frank Linhardt, Zeitsprunge, Forschungen zur Fruher Neuzeit, Frankfurt, 11 (2007); ‘The Politics of Science and the Origins of Modernity: Building Consensus in Early Royal Society’, in Zeitsprunge, Forschungen zur Fruher Neuzeit, Frankfurt, 10 (2006), 386-400.


Adam Sutcliffe (King’s College London)

Adam Sutcliffe is Reader in European History at King’s College London, where he contributes to several MA programmes as well as to the intercollegiate University of London MA in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History. He has a long-standing interest in Spinoza and his influence, and is currently working primarily on religious difference and radical politics in western Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and on the modern history of the idea of Jewish world historical purpose.  He is the author of Judaism and Enlightenment (CUP, 2003), and the co-editor, most recently, of Philosemitism in History (CUP, 2011), and of two volumes which should appear shortly: The Cambridge History of Judaism, volume VII: The Early Modern World, 1500-1815 (CUP), and History, Memory and Public Life: The Past in the Present (Routledge).

Communications Director

Michelle Pfeffer (University of Queensland)

Michelle Pfeffer is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at The University of Queensland. From October 2020 she will be Fellow by Examination (JRF) at Magdalen College, Oxford. Michelle’s research explores the history of science, medicine, and religion in early modern Europe. Her PhD, awarded in May 2020, examined the widespread denial of the immortal soul in seventeenth century England. She is currently working on two new projects: the decline of astrology in the seventeenth century and a biography of the controversial theologian William Warburton. She is also preparing a digital edition of the Oxford University disputation records from the early modern period. Her publications include “Paganism, natural reason, and immortality: Charles Blount and John Toland’s histories of the soul”, Intellectual History Review; “Christian materialism and the prospect of immortality” in Science without God, eds. Peter Harrison and Jon Roberts (Oxford); and “The Pentateuch and the immortality of the soul in England and the Dutch Republic: The Confessionalisation of a Claim” in Beyond Ancients and Moderns, eds. Ian Maclean and Dmitri Levitin (Oxford, forthcoming).

Editors, Intellectual History Review (2007-)

Thomas Ahnert (University of Edinburgh)

Thomas Ahnert is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Edinburgh. He has published mainly on German and British, in particular Scottish, intellectual history from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. His first monograph was a study of the jurist and philosopher Christian Thomasius, Religion and the Origins of the German Enlightenment. Faith and the Reform of Learning in the Thought of Christian Thomasius (2006). This was followed in 2014 by a book on The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment, 1690 – 1805. With the late Susan Manning he co-edited a volume of essays on Character, Self and Sociability in the Scottish Enlightenment (2011), which was a product of a collaborative research project, directed by Susan Manning and Nicholas Phillipson, on the Science of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment. He has also translated and edited several seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century texts on natural law, including Thomasius’s Institutes of Divine Jurisprudence, with Selections from Foundations of the Law of Nature and Nations (2011). His current projects are a study of Newtonianism in the German lands from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, and a new history of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Stephen Gaukroger (University of Sydney)

Stephen Gaukroger is Professor of History of Philosophy and History of Science, and ARC Professorial Fellow, at the University of Sydney. He was educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge, and has written on many aspects of early-modern intellectual history, with occasional forays into classical and medieval thought. He is the author of an intellectual biography of Descartes (OUP, 1995), and among his more recent books are: Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy (CUP, 2001), Descartes’ System of Natural Philosophy (CUP, 2002), Objectivity, A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2010), and Le monde en images. Voir, représenter, savoir, de Descartes à Leibniz (with Frédérique Aït-Touati: Garnier, forthcoming 2013). He has been enngaged for some time on an examination of the emergence of a scientific culture in the West, and he is now at the mid-point of this project. Two volumes have already appeared: The Emergence of a Scientific Culture: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1210-1685 (OUP, 2006), and The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1680-1760 (OUP, 2010). The third volume, The Naturalization of the Human and the Humanization of Nature: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1750-1820 should be ready by the middle of the decade.

James A. T. Lancaster (University of Queensland)

Dr James A. T. Lancaster is an intellectual historian who received his PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London. He is presently Lecturer in Studies in Western Religious Traditions in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. Previously, he was a UQ Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. As a member of the Editorial Board of the Oxford Francis Bacon critical edition, he has published widely on the philosophical and religious thought of Francis Bacon. His research and teaching interests and experience include the history of science and religion, the history of atheism and irreligion, and the history of the psychology of religion.

  • #ISIH2020 Conference

    #ISIH2020 Conference

    #ISIH2020 (27-29 May, European University Institute), has been cancelled.