Dr Emma Perkins

MA (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab)

Fellow (D), Postgraduate Mentor

College Roles

  • Fellow (D)
  • Postgraduate Mentor

University Roles

  • Teaching Associate, Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Email: ep297@cam.ac.uk


Dr Emma Perkins is a historian specialising in the early modern history of science, especially astronomy.

Dr Emma Perkins was an undergraduate and postgraduate at Newnham College, where she read Natural Sciences, followed by MPhil and PhD degrees in History and Philosophy of Science.

Dr Perkins works on early modern astronomy with a focus on visual and material culture. Her PhD focused on visual representation in the work of Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe. Following this, she was a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Diagrams, Figures and the Transformation of Astronomy, 1450-1650’, which examined the role of visual representation in the rapid developments in astronomy that occurred during this period. She has since developed her research interests through an Andrew W. Mellon Travel Fellowship at the University of Oklahoma, and a Bodleian Library Fellowship at the University of Oxford. She is currently a Teaching Associate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, where she provides teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Research Interests

Dr Emma Perkins is currently researching ways in which visual productions, especially illustrations of instruments, were used to mediate patronage relationships in the early modern period. She is particularly interested in the ways in which later astronomers drew upon the visual practices of Tycho Brahe to recruit authority for their own work. Her research interests include courtly science, images, objects and collections, the history of the book, and science and religion.

Recent publications include articles on Tycho Brahe’s astronomical instruments as well as a case-study of an early English terrestrial globe. She is working on a monograph on visual and material culture in the work of Tycho Brahe.