The University of Oxford and the Faculty of History are delighted to announce the endowment of the Chair in the History of Sceince, thanks to generous philanthropic support from an anonymous benefactor. The gift of £2.4 million towards the post has also resulted in the release of £1.2 million in matched funding from Oxford University Press.
Professor Rob Iliffe was appointed to the chair in 2016. He has a specialist interest in the history of early modern science and technology, and in the history of the relations between science and religion. He has published widely on the life and work of Isaac Newton, and is a co-director of the online Newton Project, a pioneering digital edition of Newton's papers.
Based within the Faculty of History, Professor Iliffe co-directs the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, which he founded last year in order to build teaching and research capacity of the numerous historians working in this specialist field.
Following the permanent endowment of the chair, Professor Iliffe will be able to devote more time to his own research projects. It will also support his own efforts, and those of colleagues in the history of medicine and the Museum for the History of Science, to make Oxford a major world centre for studying the history of science and technology.
Professor Iliffe says: 'The history of science and technology is a thriving discipline that is uniquely able to span the boundaries between the humanities and the sciences. The University of Oxford was a pioneer in teaching the subject, and it remains a highly popular option for students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The extraordinarily generous endowment of the chair will allow us to increase the amount of world-class research in the area, and it will enable us to extend the provision of the subject across the University.'