About me

I am the Lumley Junior Research Fellow in History at Magdalene College, Cambridge and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge (2023-26). 

My current project, 'Southern Africa and the Early Modern Globalization of Knowledge', supported by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship aims to examine how early modern Europeans drew on their knowledge of East Asia to make sense of the unfamiliar at the Cape of Good Hope. Almost every traveller voyaging between Europe and the East Indies spent time at the Cape, where they engaged with the Indigenous Khoekhoen, enslaved Malays, and European settlers, producing new, hybrid knowledges in the process. My research seeks to understand how new knowledge was produced through a triangular Asian-African-European arrangement.

I have held several visiting fellowships at top international research institutions. In Autumn 2021, I was a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow in Department III at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where I led the project 'Of Soils and Stars: Jesuit Perceptions of Chinese Agricultural Practices through Calendrical Construction'. The project examined how Jesuit missionaries made sense of the historical connections between agriculture and astronomy in late Ming and early Qing China. In Spring 2022, I was a Junior Fellow at the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Science and the Humanities at Universiteit Utrecht, where I studied early modern Dutch representations of southern Africa and its inhabitants. In June 2022, I won a Lisa Jardine Grant Award to study the English reception of Chinese astronomy at the Royal Society in London. I was a Freer Prize Fellow of the Royal Institution for the academic year 2022-23.

In 2023, I completed my PhD, titled 'Globalising China: Jesuits, Eurasian Exchanges, and the Early Modern Sciences', in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. The dissertation reveals how the Manchu conquest of China in 1644 transformed the sciences across Europe. It reorients common accounts of the history of science by showing that several scientific debates typically deemed 'European' originated in China, emerging through local peoples’ interactions with Jesuit missionaries. Focusing on the Jesuit Martino Martini’s writings, my PhD explains how Chinese cultures of knowledge became valuable intellectual and political resources in early modern Europe.

I am passionate about globalising research and pedagogy in the history of science and provincialising European contributions to 'science' and 'modernity'. My research interests include cultural and intellectual histories of intercultural encounters, the Jesuit China mission, history of scholarship, histories of race, science and empire studies, and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

In 2023, I became an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I have been shortlisted twice for the BBC New Generation Thinker Award, in 2023 and 2024. In 2024, I received a special mention in the Premio Giovani (Early Career Prize) from the Società Italiana di Storia della Scienza (Italian Society for the History of Science) for my article "Astronomical Chronology, the Jesuit China Mission, and Enlightenment History".

Printed engraving of the Imperial Astronomical Bureau at Beijing. The print shows a zodiacal sphere, an equinoctial sphere, an azimuthal horizon, a quadrant, a sextant, and a celestial globe.

The Imperial Astronomical Bureau of Beijing, taken from the French Jesuit Louis Le Comte's (1655-1728) Memoirs and observations topographical, physical, mathematical, mechanical, natural, civil, and ecclesiastical (London: 1698).


I can be contacted by email at gg410[at]cam.ac.uk (replace [at] with @)