Martin Mahony

Mahony 2018b (2)Lecturer in Human Geography. My research is concerned with how societies in different times and places make sense of weather and climate, and with how atmospheric science and technology intersect with politics and power. I recently completed a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship project called ‘Imperial weather: meteorology and the making of twentieth century colonialism’, which explored how knowledges about weather and climate were produced and put to work across Britain’s colonial empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am currently developing new projects which extend my earlier interest in the contemporary politics of climate change, with an emerging focus on the changing place of scientific and technical knowledge in the post-Paris climate governance regime.  I teach on the School of Environmental Sciences’ new Geography BA and BSc degree programmes.

I completed my PhD in the 3S group in 2013, with a thesis which examined what I called the epistemic geographies of climate change. Some of my recent thinking on that topic is captured in a recent paper with Mike Hulme. Following my PhD I was a Research Associate for two years in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, before taking up a Fellowship in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham. It was at King’s and at Nottingham that I extended my interest in the knowledge politics of weather and climate into the historical realm, and part of my ongoing project is to examine what the history of science, empire and internationalism can teach us about contemporary environmental politics.

From September to December 2012 I was a doctoral fellow on the Harvard STS Program, working with Professor Sheila Jasanoff. I have presented my work at a range of international conferences including the RGS-IBG annual international conference, the Science and Democracy Network annual meeting, and the International Congress for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

I have a range of teaching experience with both undergraduates and masters students, covering topics related to environmental politics and history, science policy, and core geographical concepts.

My research interests cover: history and geography of science; climate politics; science policy; travelling ideas and models; British imperial history.

3S Strands:

Knowledges & expertise

Policy & governance


Imperial weather: meteorology and the making of twentieth century colonialism


Personal website