The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

Professor Richard Yeo

Richard Yeo Personal Chair, Faculty of Arts, Griffith University, researches in History and Philosophy of Science (European) 17th-19th Century, in Cultural and Intellectual History of Information and in the History of the Book.


The Politics and Rhetoric of Scientific Method: Historical Studies (D. Reidel, Boston and Dordrecht, 1986), (edited with J.A. Schuster). This book is volume 4 of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (General ed. Rod Home).

Defining Science: William Whewell, Natural Knowledge and Public Debate in Early Victorian Britain (Cambridge University Press, 1993), a 290 page monograph in the ‘Ideas in Context’ series. Joint winner of W.K. Hancock Prize, 1993-4.

Defining Science, op.cit., reissued in paperback 2003.

Telling Lives in Science: Essays on Scientific Biography (edited with M. Shortland), Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Encyclopaedic Visions: Scientific Dictionaries and Enlightenment Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 (a 350 page monograph).

Science in the Public Sphere: Natural Knowledge in British Culture, 1800-60, London: Ashgate, Variorum series, 2001.

Inaugural Professorial Lecture, May 2004, A Philosopher and his Notebooks: John Locke (1632-1704) on Memory and Information. Online via Griffith University Library Catalogue.

Journal Articles

‘Managing Knowledge in Early Modern Europe’: an essay review of Peter Burke, A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2000, in Minerva 40, no. 3 (2002), 301-314.

‘The Encyclopaedic Life’: review symposium, Metascience, vol. 11, no. 2 (2002), 154-176. Consists of three reviews (by D. Miller, J. Topham and M. Frasca-Spada) and reply by me as author (pp. 171-76).

‘A Solution to the Multitude of Books: Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopaedia (1728) as “the best Book in the Universe”’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 64 (2003), 61-72.

‘John Locke’s “Of Study” (1677): interpreting an unpublished essay’, Locke Studies 3 (2003), 147-65.

‘John Locke’s “New Method” of Commonplacing: Managing Memory and Information’, Eighteenth Century Thought, 2 (2004), 1-38.

The Australian 7 July 2004, pp. 32-33 on 300th anniversary of death of John Locke

‘Before Memex: Robert Hooke, John Locke, and Vannevar Bush on External Memory’, Science in Context 20/1 (2007), 21-47.

‘Between Memory and Paperbooks: Baconianism and Natural History in seventeenth-century England’, History of Science, 45 (March 2007), 1-46.

‘Lost Encyclopedias: Before and After the Enlightenment’, Book History, 10 (2007), 47-68.

‘Notebooks as Memory Aids: Precepts and Practices in Early Modern England’, invited for Memory Studies, 1 (2008) 115-136.

Chapters in Books

‘Encyclopaedic Knowledge’, in Marina Frasca-Spada and Nicholas Jardine (eds) Books and the Sciences in History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 207-224

‘Encyclopedias’, in A. Hessenbruch (ed), Reader’s Guide to the History of Science, London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001, pp. 208-9.

‘William Whewell’, in P. Harman and S. Mitton (eds) Cambridge Scientific Minds, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 51-63

‘Classifying the Sciences’, in ed. Roy Porter (ed), Cambridge History of Science: Volume 4, The Eighteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 241-66. A Chinese translation is due in August 2007.

‘Encyclopaedias’, entry in J. Heilbron et. al. (eds) The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 252-55.

‘Encyclopaedic Collectors: Hans Sloane and Ephraim Chambers’, in R. Anderson, M. Caygill and L. Syson (eds), Enlightening the British, London: British Museum, 2003, 39-36.

‘William Whewell’, new and revised 7000 word entry for the The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 60 vols, (Oxford University Press, 2004), vo. 58, pp. 463-70.

‘Encyclopaedias and Enlightenment’, in Iain McCalman (general editor), The Enlightenment World, Routledge World Studies Series, 2004). pp. 350-65

‘Encyclopedism’ in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, ed. M. C. Horowitz, 6 vols (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons,2005), vol. 2, pp. 669-73.

‘John Locke and Polite Philosophy’ in The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe: The Nature of a Contested Identity, ed. C. Condren, S. Gaukroger, and I. Hunter (Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 254-275.

‘John Locke’s “New Method” of Commonplacing: Managing Memory and Information’ reprinted in Peter Anstey (ed), John Locke: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, Series II, 4 vols (Routledge, 2006), in vol. 4, pp. 243-280.

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