Skip to main content

Extended Information

Diarmid A. Finnegan
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography


Current Research

My research is concerned with the historical geographies of science.  In previous work I have examined the reception of glacial theory in one civic context, early-Victorian Edinburgh, investigated the historical geographies of civic science associated with Scottish natural history societies in the period 1831-1900 and, with Charles Withers and Rebekah Higgitt, explored the role of geography in the work of the British Association for the Advancement of Science before 1933.  My book on natural history societies in Victorian Scotland was published by Pickering & Chatto in 2009.  A project on the rhetorical geographies of science and religion in the mid-Victorian period is now well established.  I have also begun work on the personal, institutional and intellectual connections between geography and Christian missions in the late-Victorian period. 



Finnegan, D. A., Natural History Societies and Civic Culture in Victorian Scotland (Pickering and Chatto, London, 2009).

Peer-Reivewed Articles

Finnegan, D. A. 'Religious polemics and scientific speech: a rhetorical geography of science and religion in mid-Victorian Britain and Ireland' in Kember, J., Plunkett, J. and Sullivan, J. (eds) Popular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship 1840-1910 (Pickering & Chatto, London, 2012), pp. 97-114.

Finnegan, D. A. 'James Croll, metaphysical geologist', Notes and Records of the Royal Society 66(1) (2012) 69-88.

Finnegan, D. A. 'Exeter-Hall science and evangelical rhetoric in mid-Victorian Britain', Journal of Victorian Culture 16(1) (2011) 46-64.

Finnegan, D. A. 'Geographies of scientific speech in mid-Victorian Edinburgh', in Livingstone, D. N. and Withers, C. W. J. (eds) Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2011), pp. 153-177.

Finnegan, D. A. ''An aid to mental health': natural history, alienists and therapeutics in Victorian Scotland', Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 39(3) (2008) 326-337. 

Withers, C. W. J., Higgitt, R. and Finnegan D. A. 'Historical geographies of provincial science: themes in the setting and reception of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Britain, 1831-c.1939', British Journal for the History of Science, 41(3) (2008) 385-415.

Finnegan, D. A. 'The spatial turn: geographical approaches in the history of science', Journal of the History of Biology 41(2) (2008) 369-388.

Finnegan, D. A. ‘Naturalising the Highlands: geographies of mountain fieldwork in late-Victorian Scotland’, Journal of Historical Geography 37 (2007) 791-815.

Withers, C. W. J., Finnegan D. A. and Higgitt, R. ‘Geography's other histories? Geography and science in the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1831-c.1933’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 31 (2006) 433-451.

Finnegan D. A. ‘Natural history societies in late-Victorian Scotland and the pursuit of local civic science’, British Journal for the History of Science, 38(1) (2005) 53-72.

Finnegan, D. A. ‘The work of ice: glacial theory and scientific culture in early-Victorian Edinburgh’, British Journal for the History of Science, 37(1) (2004) 29-52.

Withers, C. W. J. and Finnegan D. A. ‘Natural history societies, fieldwork and local knowledge in nineteenth-century Scotland: towards a historical geography of civic science’, Cultural Geographies, 10 (2003) 334-53.

Shorter Publications

Finnegan, D. A. 'Making science, making geogrpahy', Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 43(1) (2013) 113-119. 

Finnegan, D. A. 'Geography of Knowledge', in B. Warf (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Geography (Oxford University Press, 2013). doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0057

Finnegan, D. A. 'Darwin and Protestantism', in M. Ruse (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2013), 468-475.

Finnegan, D. A. 'Making a difference: geography and the history of science', Viewpoint 92 (2010) 7.

Finnegan, D. A. 'Darwin, dead and buried?', Environment and Planning A 42(2) (2010) 259-61.

Finnegan, D. A., ‘Charles W. Peach,’ in Lightman, B. (ed.) Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists (Thoemmes Continuum: Bristol, 2004).

Finnegan, D. A. ‘John Scouler,’ in Lightman, B. (ed.) Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Scientists (Thoemmes Continuum: Bristol, 2004).

Book Reviews

'Simon Naylor, Regionalizing Science: Placing Knowledges in Victorian England,' [online] (2011)

'D. Graham Burnett, Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature,' [online] (2008).

‘H. Rozwadowski, Fathoming the Ocean: the Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea,’ Historical Geography 35 (2007) 309-311.   

‘K. Anderson, Predicting the Weather: Victorians and the Science of Meteorology,’ [online] (2006).

'P. Armstrong, Darwin's Other Islands,’ Journal of Historical Geography, 31 (2006) 784-785.

'M. Collie and J. Diemer (eds.), Murchison’s Wanderings in Russia: His Geological Exploration of Russia in Europe and the Ural Mountains 1840 and 1841,’ Scottish Geographical Journal, 121 (2005) 417-418.  


British Association for Victorian Studies

British Society for the History of Science

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Society for the History of Natural History