Michael  Hunter Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Michael Hunter

Emeritus Professor
Birkbeck, University of London

Michael Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the principal editor of the Works, Correspondence and workdiaries of Robert Boyle and author of Boyle: Between God and Science (2009) as well as many other books on the intellectual history of early modern England. He is also the editor of Printed Images in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Interpretation (2010).

Subjects: History


Educated: Christ’s Hospital, 1958-67; Jesus College, Cambridge, 1968-71 (BA 1971; MA 1975; double first with distinction in part 2); Worcester College, Oxford, 1971-5 (MA, DPhil. 1975).

Awards and Honours: President, International Society for Intellectual History, 2014- ;
Fellow of the British Academy (2007); Fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London (2012); Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1985); Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (1976).

Positions held: Research Fellow, Worcester College, Oxford, 1972-5; Research Fellow, Department of History, University of Reading, 1975-6; Lecturer and (from 1984) Reader in History, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1976-92; Professor of History at Birkbeck, 1992-2011; Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck, since 2011.

Main research projects: Director, Robert Boyle Project, www.bbk.ac.uk/boyle (recipient of various major grants from the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Wellcome Trust, AHRB and Heritage Lottery Fund, 1994-2005).
Director, British Printed Images to 1700 Project, www.bpi1700.org.uk (funded by an AHRC resource enhancement grant, 2006-9, with ancillary funding from the Bibliographical Society and Paul Mellon Foundation).

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Principal publications:

    (a) Works relating to Robert Boyle.
    Editor of Robert Boyle Reconsidered (1994); Robert Boyle by Himself and his Friends (1994); The Works of Robert Boyle (14 vols., 1999-2000) [with Edward B. Davis]; The Correspondence of Robert Boyle (6 vols., 2001) [with Antonio Clericuzio and Lawrence M. Principe]; and The Workdiaries of Robert Boyle, revised edition, 2004 [with Charles Littleton], available online at www.livesandletters.ac.uk/wd/index.html.
    Author of Boyle: Between God and Science (2009) [winner of the Samuel Pepys Award and the Roy G. Neville Prize, 2011]; Boyle Studies: Aspects of the Life and Thought of Robert Boyle (1627-91) (2015); The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle (2007); Robert Boyle (1627-91): Scrupulosity and Science (2000); and [with Iordan Avramov and Hideyuki Yoshimoto] Boyle’s Books: the Evidence of his Citations (2010).
    Other edited texts: [with Edward B. Davis] Robert Boyle, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (1996); Robert Boyle’s ‘Heads’ and ‘Inquiries’ (2005); [with Harriet Knight] Unpublished Material Relating to Robert Boyle’s ‘Memoirs of the Natural History of Human Blood (2005); and [with Peter Anstey] The Text of Robert Boyle’s ‘Design about Natural History’ (2008).

    (b) Other monographs and collaborative volumes: [with Jim Bennett], The Image of Restoration Science: The Frontispiece to Thomas Sprat’s ‘History of the Royal Society’ (1667) (2017);  Editing Early Modern Texts: an Introduction to Principles and Practice (2007); [with Lisa Jardine, Michael Cooper and Jim Bennett] London’s Leonardo: the Life and Work of Robert Hooke (2003); Science and the Shape of Orthodoxy: Intellectual Change in late 17th-century Britain (1995); The Royal Society and its Fellows 1660-1700: the Morphology of an Early Scientific Institution (enlarged ed., 1994; originally published 1982); [with Peter J. Ucko, Alan J. Clark and Andrew David] Avebury Reconsidered: from the 1660s to the 1990s (1991); Establishing the New Science: the Experience of the Early Royal Society (1989); Science and Society in Restoration England (1981); The Victorian Villas of Hackney (1981); and John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning (1975).

    (c ) Edited volumes of essays: [with Alison Walker and Arthur MacGregor] From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and his Collections (2012); Printed Images in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Interpretation (2010); [with Michael Cooper] Robert Hooke: Tercentennial Studies (2006); [with Laura Gowing and Miri Rubin] Love, Friendship and Faith in Europe 1300-1800 (2005); [with Frances Harris] John Evelyn and his Milieu (2003); Archives of the Scientific Revolution: the Formation and Exchange of Ideas in 17th-century Europe (1998); Preserving the Past: the Rise of Heritage in Modern Britain (1996); [with David Wootton] Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment (1992); [with Robert Thorne] Change at King’s Cross: From 1800 to the Present (1990); and [with Simon Schaffer] Robert Hooke: New Studies (1989).

    (d) Other editions of texts: Magic and Mental Disorder: Sir Hans Sloane’s Memoir of John Beaumont (2011); The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in late 17th-century Scotland (2001); [with Giles Mandelbrote, Richard Ovenden and Nigel Smith] A Radical’s Books: the Library Catalogue of Samuel Jeake of Rye, 1623-90 (1999); and [with Annabel Gregory] An Astrological Diary of the 17th Century: Samuel Jeake of Rye, 1652-1699 (1988).

            (e) Recent articles: ‘John Webster, the Royal Society and The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft (1677)’, Notes & Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, 71 (2017);  ‘Pitcairneana: An Atheist Text by Archibald Pitcairne’, The Historical Journal, 59 (2016), 595-621; ‘Editing Early Modern Scientific Correspondence: The Way Forward’, ISIS, 107 (2016), 365-72; ‘Introduction’ to ‘Curiously Drawn: Early Modern Science as a Visual Pursuit’, special issue of Huntington Library Quarterly, 78 (2015), 141-55; ‘John Aubrey’s Brief Lives: The edition we have been waiting for’, The Seventeenth Century, 30 (2015), 339-51; ‘John Ray in Italy: Lost Manuscripts Rediscovered’, Notes & Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, 68 (2014), 93-109;  ‘Life-writing in Early Modern England’, The Historical Journal, 56 (2013), 583-92;  ‘The Decline of Magic: Challenge and Response in Early Enlightenment England’, The Historical Journal, 55 (2012), 399-425 (based on the Roy Porter Memorial Lecture, delivered at the Wellcome Library, 20 June 2011); and ‘The Royal Society and the Decline of Magic’, Notes & Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, 65 (2011), 103-19.

Personal Interests

    Recreations: Book- and print-collecting, motorcycling, historic buildings.


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