We are in the unique position of having a group of academics who work with us at the development stage of our events. This resource is invaluable guiding the basics of the research and development of our heritage projects.

Giles Gasper

Doctor Giles Gasper is Reader in High Medieval History at Durham University. He specialises in the intellectual history of the high Middle Ages (11th-13th centuries), particularly in the development of theology. He also has interests in Patristic and early medieval thought, and in the history of science. He is principal investigator on the inter-disciplinary Ordered Universe project to edit, translate and contextualise the scientific works of Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), working with an international team of scientists, educationalists and medievalists.

Mark McCaughrean

Professor Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency. He is also responsible for communicating results from ESA’s astronomy, heliophysics, planetary, exploration, and fundamental physics missions to the scientific community and wider general public. Following a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, followed by astronomical institutes in Tucson, Heidelberg, Bonn, and Potsdam, and taught as a professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter before joining ESA in 2009. His personal scientific research involves observational studies of the formation of stars and their planetary systems, and he is also an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.

Hannah Smithson

Professor Hannah Smithson is a Fellow and Tutor in Psychology & Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology  Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms that underlie perception. She uses psychophysical experiments to objectively measure human visual performance under different conditions. Her aim is to test different models of the retinal and cortical processing on which vision is based. In addition to fundamental research on normal adult human perception, she seeks to explore potential applications of her findings – for example, in developing new display technologies and in understanding the limitations of vision in disease.

Eleanor Rosamund-Barraclough

Eleanor is a historian, broadcaster and writer based at Bath Spa University. She presents programmes on BBC radio and is author of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas. Her new book, Embers of the Hands: Hidden Histories of the Viking Age, is out in 2024. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Thanks to some of the stranger things she has done for her BBC documentaries, she’s also a member of the Norwegian Ice-Bathing Club and the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society. www.eleanorbarraclough.com 

Matthew Townend 

Professor Matthew Townend is Senior Lecturer in English and Related Literature at the University of York.  His research interests are in Old Norse language and literature (especially poetry); the history and culture of Viking Age England; and medievalism and philology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  He is the author of English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse (1998), Language and History in Viking Age England (2002), The Vikings and Victorian Lakeland: the Norse medievalism of W.G. Collingwood and his contemporaries (2009), and Viking Age Yorkshire (2014), and he is currently writing a book about the Victorians and the study of dialect.

Dr Sigbjørn Sønnesyn

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (High Medieval History)

University of Durham

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