Executive Committee



Vittoria Feola (University of Padova)

Vittoria Feola is an early modern intellectual historian. She earned her PhD from Cambridge University. She has worked in Brussels and Vienna, and has held visiting fellowships in Paris, London, and Oxford. Vittoria is interested in the history of early modern knowledge and erudition, as well as in the modes of intellectual communication. She has published widely about the history of private libraries and the Republic of Letters. Vittoria’s edited collection, Antiquarianism and Science in Early Modern Urban Networks (Paris, STP Blanchard, 2014) won a Urania Trust Book Grant. She is Elias Ashmole’s most recent biographer with her Elias Ashmole and the Uses of Antiquity (Paris, STP Blanchard, 2013). The Gerda Henkel Stiftung has generously supported her work on ‘The Roles of Rome and Venice as Book Trade and Cultural Centres in Peter Lambeck’s Network, 1640-80’ from which stems the Bartolomeo Gamba Project. Further areas of interest include the digital humanities, Eugene of Savoy, and Church-State relations.


David Beck (University of Warwick)

BeckDavid Beck is based in the Department of History at the University of Warwick, where he completed his PhD in 2013. He is currently a fixed-term Lecturer in History, and Academic Technologist for Research in the Faculty of Arts. He has published on physico-theology and natural history in late seventeenth-century England. His current research focuses on two disparate areas of English intellectual culture around the turn of the eighteenth century: local natural history, and the relationship between erotica/pornography and the early Enlightenment. David Beck was responsible for organising the second Scientiae conference in Warwick in 2013.

Communications Director

Cornelis Schilt (Linacre College, Oxford)

Cornelis J. (Kees-Jan) Schilt is a historian of early modern science and Transcription Manager for the digital Newton Project. He was educated at Utrecht University and the University of Sussex and is finishing his DPhil with Robert Iliffe at the University of Oxford. He combines a strong background in Information Technology with a fascination for the knowledge-making activities of Isaac Newton, and has published on the intersections between Newton’s optics, his alchemy, and his chronological studies. His main research involves Newton’s reading and writing practices, as exemplified by his studies into ancient monarchies, where he seeks to combine minutious book study with corpus linguistics. His other interests include the history of physics and the history of science & religion. Schilt was one of the organisers of the fifth Scientiae conference in Oxford in 2016 and blogs about all things research on Corpus Newtonicum.

Publications Director

Richard Raiswell (University of Prince Edward Island)

RaiswellRichard Raiswell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. His research investigates the cultural dialogues underlying specific constructions of demonism and geography in the late medieval and early modern periods, focussing on the resilience of particular discursive patterns in the light of the broader developments in natural philosophy in this period. Amongst his publications are an edited collection The Devil in Society in Premodern Europe (Toronto, 2011), and articles including “Geography is Better than Divinity: The Bible and Medieval Geographical Thought,” Canadian Journal of History and “Demon Possession in Anglo-Saxon and Early Modern England,” Journal of British Studies (with Peter Dendle). His current projects include editing a primary source collection on medieval demonism, and working on an extended monograph centring on the Indian travels of the English cleric, Edward Terry in the early seventeenth century.

General Member

Steven Matthews (University of Minnesota, Duluth)

MattewsSteven Matthews is associate professor of history and departmental head of history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  He holds a Masters in Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, and a PhD in History from the University of Florida.  He specializes in the history of science and the history of Christianity with an emphasis on the foundations of both and their subsequent interactions.  He is the author of the ponderously titled monograph, Theology and Science in the Thought of Francis Bacon (Ashgate, 2008), as well as a series of articles on the relationship between science and theology in the thought of Francis Bacon more generally. Steven is also a founding member of the Academia Scientiae.

Former Executive Committee Members

J.D. Fleming (Simon Fraser University)

J.D. (James Dougal) Fleming is Professor of English Literature at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C. He co-founded the Scientiae conference project with Steve Matthews in 2010. Fleming was the lead organizer of the inaugural conference, held in Vancouver in 2012. His publications include The Mirror of Information in Early Modern England: John Wilkins and the Universal Character (Palgrave, 2016); Milton’s Secrecy and Philosophical Hermeneutics (Ashgate 2008); and, as editor, The Invention of Discovery, 1500-1700 (Ashgate 2011). Fleming served on the Scientiae executive from 2010-2015..

James Lancaster (Royal Holloway, University of London)

James A.T. Lancaster (Communications Director until 2016) is an intellectual historian, who received his PhD from the Warburg Institute in London. He is currently a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, where he is in the process of writing a book on the interrelation of religion and the natural world in the thought of Francis Bacon. In addition, as a board member of the Oxford Francis Bacon (OFB), James has been responsible for compiling the most comprehensive bibliography to date of both editions of the works of, and secondary sources on, Francis Bacon. His publications include: ‘The Semantic Structure of Evolutionary Biology as an Argument Against Intelligent Design’ in Zygon: The Journal of Religion and Science; ‘Natural Knowledge as a Propaedeutic to Self-Betterment: Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Natural History’ in Early Science and Medicine; and ‘Natural Histories of Religion: A (Baconian) “Science”?’ in Perspectives on Science. With Guido Giglioni, he has an edited volume, Motion and Power in Francis Bacon’s Philosophy, forthcoming in 2015.

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    Scientiae 2017: Padua

    The Call for Papers for Scientiae 2017 is now available online.