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Patricia Fara explores the scientific education of Mary Shelley and how a work of early science fiction inspired her best-known novel Frankenstein.

The First World War provided unprecedented opportunities for scientists, especially women, says Patricia Fara.

Volume: 64 Issue: 2 2014

Describing the First World War as ‘an engineers’ war’, which required ‘arms more than men’, Lloyd George acted on the urgent need to employ women in the armaments industries. Henrietta Heald explains how they in turn responded to the challenges.

Volume: 64 Issue: 10 2014

A milestone in transportation was reached on July 25th, 1814.

Volume: 64 Issue: 7 2014

The capital went underground on January 9th, 1863.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

In 1961, rattled by Soviet advances in space, President John F. Kennedy declared that, within a decade, the United States would land a man on the Moon. David Baker tells the story of how it took the US Air Force to change NASA and make the dream a reality.

Volume: 63 Issue: 12 2013

The scientist and natural philosopher John Tyndall was known to the public through his lectures and newspaper debates. But, say Miguel DeArce and Norman MacMillan, one of Tyndall’s most famous public speeches, his Belfast Address of 1874, plagiarised the thinking of others.

Volume: 63 Issue: 7 2013

The collapse of the USSR after 1989 opened up Russia’s Arctic region to a degree of scrutiny previously denied historians. Katherine Harrison and Matthew Hughes examine the Soviet approach to nuclear testing.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Nigel Watson celebrates 80 years of the British Interplanetary Society.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

Jonathan Conlin considers a 1990 article on the past, present and future of history broadcasting, whose pessimistic forecasts have not quite come to pass.

Volume: 63 Issue: 6 2013

The designer of the Colt revolver, the most celebrated killing machine in the history of the Wild West, died on January 10th 1862, aged 47.

Volume: 62 Issue: 1 2012

The great historical shifts in energy use, from wood to coal, to oil, nuclear power and beyond, have transformed civilisation and will do so again, as Richard Rhodes explains.

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

Since the 19th century, attitudes to drugs have been in constant flux, argues Victoria Harris, owing as much to fashion as to science.

Volume: 62 Issue: 4 2012

John Herschel Glenn Jr was the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20th 1962.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

Alex Keller tells the story of how an unlikely friendship between a Dutch doctor and a young Italian nobleman led to the establishment of the first scientific society, which lent crucial support to the radical ideas of Galileo Galilei.

Volume: 62 Issue: 3 2012

The story of penicillin is well known, as are those Nobel Prize winners who were honoured for their part in its discovery. But one man’s contribution has been overlooked. Malcolm Murfett sets the record straight on the biochemist Norman G. Heatley.

Volume: 62 Issue: 9 2012

The great military institution took flight on April 13th, 1912.

Volume: 62 Issue: 4 2012

Constructing the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the River Thames in London: an image analysed by Roger Hudson.

Volume: 62 Issue: 3 2012

The Flemish cartographer was born on March 5th, 1512.

Volume: 62 Issue: 3 2012

Two hundred years ago Britain was gripped by a wave of violent machine breaking, as skilled textile workers, invoking the mythical Ned Ludd, attacked factories and factory owners in an attempt to defend their livelihoods. Richard Jones looks at how the phenomenon affected the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire.

Volume: 62 Issue: 5 2012

The illustrious champion of science was created on July 15th, 1662.

Volume: 62 Issue: 7 2012

Nicholas Mee recalls Jeremiah Horrocks, the first astronomer to observe Venus cross in front of the Sun, whose discoveries paved the way for the achievements of Isaac Newton.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

Jad Adams looks back to a time when, wracked by industrial decline, a nation embraced the world’s first supersonic airliner.

Volume: 61 Issue: 12 2011

Jean-Andre Prager demonstrates the wide-ranging impact of Darwinism. This essay was the winner of the Julia Wood Prize for 2011.

Issue: 71 2011

Richard Cavendish remembers Ivan Pavlov who died on February 27th, 1936. Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for physiology in 1904.

Volume: 61 Issue: 2 2011

John Swinfield describes the bizarre politics behind the British government’s attempt to launch a pair of airships in the 1920s and how a project that might have boosted national pride ended in tragedy and failure.

Volume: 61 Issue: 6 2011

Lauren Kassell reveals how the casebooks, diaries and diagrams of the late-16th-century astrologer Simon Forman provide a unique perspective on a period when the study of the stars began to embrace modern science.

Volume: 61 Issue: 9 2011

The Hindenburg disaster marked the beginning of the end for airship travel. Yet what is often forgotten today is that, until the 1930s, airships were a popular and luxurious way to travel.


Richard Cavendish describes the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary on May 27th, 1936.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

The American Civil War transformed the nature of conflict. Its opening salvos harked back to Waterloo; its end anticipated the industrial warfare of the 20th century, writes David White.

Volume: 60 Issue: 6 2010

This month Nick Poyntz looks at how to access the wealth of digitised source material now available to historians.

Volume: 60 Issue: 6 2010

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