Fellowship spans science and music

The Cheney Fellowships Scheme enables talented researchers to spend time working on research at a leading UK institution, exploring new research ideas and building new collaborations.

When Dr Tim Boon began his Cheney Fellowship at Leeds, he had only a rough outline for his book on the portrayal of science in popular culture in 20th century Britain. 

By the end of his last Cheney visit to Leeds in August 2018, Dr Boon had developed his book outline into a strong proposal, which has generated an expression of interest from the University of Pittsburgh Press, one of the largest publishers of history of science scholarship.

Yet this was only one of the outcomes from an incredibly productive Fellowship, according to Professor Frank Finlay, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.

“Tim was able to connect, not just with one or two of our researchers, but with the Faculty as a whole,” says Professor Finlay. “His intellectual interests speak to many areas of research across at least four of our Schools, from his professional experience as a curator, to his research within the history of science and technology, and his interest in music, film and TV.”

As part of a 2016 event organised by Dr Helen Graham, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, Dr Boon gave a presentation comparing how science and music were treated in popular culture.

In 2018, a two-day conference co-convened by Dr Boon, Dr Simon Popple (School of Media and Communication) and Drs James Mooney, Edward Venn and Marian Jago (School of Music) focused on the performance of music between 1955-1985. 

Dr Boon’s experience has also prompted him to look at ways he could extend the benefits to colleagues within the Science Museum Group, through a potential exchange scheme between the Group and the University. Two of the museums within the group are located in Yorkshire: the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York, with the Science and Industry Museum not far away in Manchester.

The Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute and the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures were pleased to host Dr Tim Boon as Cheney Fellow between Autumn 2016 and Summer 2018.

Dr Boon is Head of Research at the Science Museums Group, which includes the Science Museum in London and four other museums across the UK.

Cheney Fellowships are funded through the generosity of Peter and Susan Cheney. The Fellowships and are designed to enable talented researchers to spend a period of time working on research at a leading UK institution, exploring new research ideas and building new collaborations.

Read more about Tim's Fellowship