Dr Ruth Barton

MSc (Wellington) , PhD (Pennsylvania)

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Honorary Academic


Academic appointments

  • 2012-: Honorary Research Fellow, History, The University of Auckland
  • 1993-2012: Associate Professor, History Department, The University of Auckland
  • 1976-1993: Senior Tutor, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in Social Science Methodology, School of Social Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia
  • 1967-1970: Junior Lecturer in Mathematics, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 1970-76: PhD in history and sociology of science (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 1970: MSc, with distinction in mathematics
  • 1963-66: BSc, BSc(Hons) (first class in mathematics)

Research | Current

  • Science and culture in Victorian England
  • Domestic technology and housework
  • Science and technology in New Zealand

Postgraduate supervision

  • Jeremiah Rankin, "Scientific Identity and Authority in the Nineteenth Century" (with Joe Zizek)
  • Linda Tyler (Art History), "John Buchanan: artist/botanist", PhD (with Elizabeth Rankin and Len Bell)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Barton, R. (2017). ‘Not merely a scientific society’: the New Zealand Institute and its affiliates c.1868–1900. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 47 (1), 33-40. 10.1080/03036758.2016.1207680
  • Barton, R., & Kwan, A. M. (2016). Jock Hoe: Mathematician, linguist and historian, 1929–2016. Bulletin of the Pacific Circle, 37, 3-4.
  • Barton, R. (2014). Sunday Lecture Societies: Naturalistic Scientists, Unitarians and Secularists Unite Against Sabbatarian Legislation. In G. Dawson, B. Lightman (Eds.) Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity (pp. 189-219). Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • Rankin, J., & Barton, R. (2014). Tyndall, Lewes and Popular Representations of Scientific Authority in Victorian Britain. In B. Lightman, M. S. Reidy (Eds.) The Age of Scientific Naturalism: Tyndall and his Contemporaries (pp. 51-70). London: Pickering and Chatto.
  • Barton, R. (2007). Lockyer's columns of controversy in Nature. History of the Journal Nature10.1038/nature06260
  • Barton, R. (2003). 'Men of science': Language, identity and professionalization in the mid-Victorian scientific community. HISTORY OF SCIENCE, 41 (131), 73-119. 10.1177/007327530304100103
  • Barton, R. (2000). Haast and the Moa: Reversing the tyranny of distance. Pacific Science, 54 (3), 251-263.
  • Barton, R. (1998). `Huxley, Lubbock, and half a dozen others' : Professionals and gentlemen in the formation of the X Club, 1851-1864. Isis, 89 (3), 410-444. 10.1086/384072

Contact details

Primary office location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 7, Room 704
New Zealand