Mary Hesse - Biography#

Studied Mathematics at Imperial College London (1943-1947), and then History and Philosophy of Science at University College. She taught Mathematics in Holloway College and in Leeds University (1947-1955), and then in University College (1955-1959). In 1960 she arrived in Cambridge as a Lecturer in the fairly new Department of HPS, where she stayed until retirement.

Mary Hesse has been a Fellow of Wolfson College since it began in 1965, and was Vice-President (1976-1980). She was a member of the Council of the British Academy (1979-1982), and of the University Grants Committee (1980-1985).

Her special interests in research have included the history of physics from the C19, the theory-observation relation in science, and the relationships of the natural and social sciences with religion. Her books include Forces and Fields (1961), Models and Analogies in Science (1964), Revolutions and Reconstructions in the Philosophy of Science (1980), and The Construction of Reality (with M Arbib, 1986).

In retirement professor Hesse has developed an interest in Landscape History, reverting to student-status at Madingley Hall. Her latest publication has been a reconstruction of the medieval 'East Fields' of Cambridge town (2007).

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