Dr James Sumner PhD

Lecturer in the History of Technology

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I am a historian of technology and the applied sciences, focusing mainly on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. My research interests include computers and information culture, chemical knowledge in the beer-brewing industry, technical education and instructional literature in applied science, and the role of science and technology in local, regional and civic identity.

I arrived at the University of Manchester in 2004, having been introduced to the history of science at Cambridge, followed by graduate study at Leeds. I became Senior Lecturer in History of Technology in 2017.

I combine research activity with a range of teaching in both history and science communication studies, serving as programme director for the taught Master’s in History of Science, Technology and Medicine. I also have a strong interest in public engagement, including public talks and discussion sessions, guided walks, broadcast appearances, and tourism development consultancy. I collaborate with several museums and science centres on public events and postgraduate research supervision.

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