History of Science in Cambridge - audio tour

Here you can find links and downloads for the history of science and mathematics in Cambridge audio tour that is in production for Cambridge Festival 2022 and beyond. All the contributions have been designed for a general audience so, although the experts who wrote them could have gone deeper, we hope they will be accessible to everyone. Transcripts and a map are available to download here. These will be updated as well.

If you are using the tour and walking around the city, please take care on slippery cobbles and when crossing roads especially watch out for cyclists! Don't forget to take the time to look around you and imagine what those who walked the parks and streets before you would have seen, heard, felt, and found inspiration in. You'll notice that Trinity College is a main centre-point - you might find it interesting to discover why this might be!

All the places on this tour have public access, or are visible from public streets. For access to specific museums and colleges, please apply to them individually.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of Cambridge University Press authors and scholars from around the world and I am so grateful for their help and enthusiasm. We hope this will be an insight into a Cambridge you might not know and that it will inspire you to find out more about the City and its people.

Please submit any feedback you have for the tour here so that we can keep developing it to add more and more free content.

If you would like to receive notification of when new content is added, please email bookshop@cambridge.org, or just keep an eye on this page 😊

Update 10/4/22: activated: Darwin in Cambridge

Update 21/4/22: four new audio tracks added to the tour (Three remarkable Girton mathematicians and Roger Long at Pembroke) and an updated collection of maps and transcripts.

Update 9/7/22: added Darwin's Notebooks to the tour.


Upcoming additions to the trail include:

Stephen Hawking

Alan Turing

Srinivasa Ramanujan

The further adventures of Bertrand Russell

Michael Atiyah and the Isaac Newton Institute

- remastering of current and upcoming tracks

- additional detail to map including more locations and route suggestions


List of contributors and their pieces:

Jenifer Glynn: Rosalind Franklin at Newnham College and After

Caroline Series: Phillipa Garrett Fawcett and Newnham College

Caroline Series: At Trinity College: Arthur Cayley and Mathematics for All

Caroline Series: At Girton College: Charlotte Scott and Mary Cartwright

Sally Lee: The Botanic Garden and John Stevens Henslow

Bernard Linsky: At Trinity College: Bertrand Russell and the Principia Mathematica

Patricia Fara: A Walk Along Free School Lane

Patricia Fara: On the Newton Tree at Trinity College

Edward Gillin: At Great St. Mary's Church: Cambridge’s Mathematical Revolution and the Chimes of Big Ben

Edward Gillin: At Trinity College: William Whewell and "The Scientist"

Paul White: At Christ's College: Darwin in Cambridge

Paul White: Darwin's Correspondence at Cambridge University Library

Paul White: Darwin's Notebooks at Cambridge University Library

Joshua Nall: A Perspective on Free School Lane

Tom Körner: "Wranglers" at the Senate House

Soraya de Chadarevian: At Crick's House: Watson And Crick In Cambridge

Ruth Williams: At Girton College: Bertha Jeffreys

Liba Taub: At Pembroke College: Roger Long


Find out more:

There is a special collection of related books (and gifts!) on our website  and a free-to-access version of The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, edited by Joshua Nall, Liba Taub & Francis Willmoth on the CambridgeCore website.


Some useful websites:

Whipple Museum

The Darwin Correspondence Project - Cambridge University Library

Trinity College Library Blog - Treasures from the Collection

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The Cambridge Philosophical Society

The Wellcome Collection has lots of photographs including the James D Watson collection. Have a look at this: Outside the Golden Helix, the Crick's home in Portugal Place, Cambridge (from the James Watson collection, with Francis Crick and others, c. 1950-59). Wellcome Collection. In copyright


Massive thanks to the wonderful writer and illustrator Anna Doherty for her work on the map and portrait sketches.