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 postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. A historian of early modern science and Transcription Manager for the digital Newton Project, he is currently involved with a project detailing  Isaac Newton’s career at the Royal Mint in London from 1696 to 1727. He was educated at Utrecht University, the University of Sussex and the University of Oxford, where he completed his doctorate on Isaac Newton’s chronological studies in 2018. 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, combining minutious book study with corpus linguistics. His other interests include the history of physics and the history of science & religion. He blogs about all things Newton 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. He is co-editor (together with James Lancaster) of Evidence in the Age of the New Sciences (Springer, 2018).

General Members

Cassie Gorman (Anglia Ruskin University)

Cassie Gorman is a Lecturer in English at Anglia Ruskin University. Prior to this she held lecturing posts at Trinity College, Cambridge and Oriel College, Oxford, after completing her doctorate at the University of Cambridge in 2014. Her research explores ways in which English imaginative literature of the seventeenth century was not only responsive to but a part of scientific progress, with particular interests in early modern women’s writing and the reciprocal influence between corpuscular philosophy and theological thought. She has published papers on Henry More, Lucy Hutchinson and Thomas Traherne, and co-edited a volume of essays on the latter with the theologian Elizabeth Dodd: Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth Century Thought (Boydell and Brewer, 2016). Cassie is currently finishing her first monograph, a study of early modern poetry and atomic thought, and is about to begin a new research project on early modern women’s alchemical writing.

Stefano Gulizia (New Europe College, Bucharest)

Stefano Gulizia is a historian of early modern science and philosophy, with a focus on forms of intellectual coordination. Trained as a classicist in Milan, he taught extensively in the U.S. (after his PhD from Indiana University) and held fellowships in California, Oxford, Chicago, Montréal, Berlin and Wolfenbüttel. He is currently a fellow at the New Europe College in Bucharest, writing a monograph on Galileo’s knowledge communities; he is also responsible for a project on the reception of Aristotelian natural philosophy in East-Central Europe. Recent publications include “Ruscelli’s Book of Secrets in Context” in Society and Politics; ““Printing and Instrument Making in the Early Modern Atlantic, 1520-1600” in Nuncius; “The Ethics of Typography in Festina lente” in Erasmus Studies; and “Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and the Shifting Telos of Traveling Libraries” in Pacific Coast Philology. He is the editor of a forthcoming special issue (scheduled for 2019) on imperial bureaucracy and artificial life.

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 also served as lead organizer of our 2019 conference, held at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Karen Hollewand (University of Utrecht)

Karen Hollewand is currently a postdoc in the Skillnet project at the Faculty of History of the University of Utrecht. She completed her PhD thesis, on the banishment of humanist Hadriaan Beverland in the year 1679, at the University of Oxford and she is working on a translation of Beverland’s main work De Peccato Originali together with dr Floris Verhaart. Her research concentrates on the social, intellectual, and cultural history of early modern Europe, with a particular focus on sex and science and the Republic of Letters.

Former Executive Committee Members

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 Scientiae.

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. He is co-editor of Francis Bacon on Motion and Power (Springer, 2016) and (together with Richard Raiswell) of  Evidence in the Age of the New Sciences (Springer, 2018).

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