I am Honorary Senior Research Fellow, with particular interests in open educational practices, and representation for sharing practice. I am a member of the EC-funded OER4Adults team, the JISC-funded Open Educational Resources Evaluation and Synthesis team, and a consultant on the NTFS-funded SHARE project. I was a member of the support and synthesis team on the JISC Institutional Innovation and Users and Innovation programmes, and led evaluation on the Planet project. Previously, I was Project Manager and Co-Investigator on the Mod4L project, part of the JISC's Design for Learning programme, and a Research Fellow on the JISC-funded LADIE project. I was abstracts co-editor for ALT-C 2007 and 2008.
I am also a historian of science with special interests in nineteenth and twentieth century physics, building on my earlier work as curator of the museum at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. I have published extensively on J.J. Thomson and the discovery of the electron, and also on Maxwell, Poynting, Faraday, Cavendish and Coulomb. Recently I have been scoping and advising Lord Rayleigh on cataloguing and preservation of the Rayleigh archives. I am currently investigating the history of graphical methods, an interest arising from my work on the Thomson-Rutherford collaboration on x-ray ionisation in 1896. I am a Research Associate of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and was for five years editor of the British Society for the History of Science’s Education Newsletter.
I teach history as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, currently on the History MA , and previously on course AT308: Cities and Technology for the Open University in Scotland . I am one of the two Associate Lecturers on the Open University's Council - its top governing body. I am a member of the Associate Lecturers Executive and sit on a number of University Committees, including Senate. In April 2006 I received two Open University teaching awards for exploring and supporting innovative ways of meeting a diversity of student needs; and my contribution to the SOS team which provides professional development and seeds communities of practice for tutors focussed around using distance technologies in learning and teaching.
I live in Fife with Ken, Ben and Jennifer. I was a parent member of Madras College School Board for four years and set up the school board website. I ran a highly successful science club at Lawhead Primary School which won the International Lunch Box Derby in Washington in 1999 and were runners up in New York in 2000, based on my experience working at a pioneering hands on science centre, The Exploratory, in Bristol.