PhD candidate in Economic and Social History
I am a PhD student studying the economic geography of Scotland's industrialisation with the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, supervised by Leigh Shaw-Taylor. Before this, I studied economics at Heriot-Watt Unviersity (2012-16, MA) and the University of Edinburgh with the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (2016-17, MSc).
Because of the relative paucity of data on Scotland's industrialisation and how geographically and socially diverse the experiences of Scottish industrialisation were, statistical methods have yet to be applied to study Scotland - in stark contrast to the substatial amount of quantitative research that has transformed the historiography of English industrialisation. My PhD aims to remidy some of this asymmetry by systematically analysising the Old and New Statistical Accounts of Scotland (1790-99 and 1834-45), two sets of parish-by-parish reports totalling 36 volumes. I study them in conjunction with other sources, such as geographic and census data, using geometric data analysis (also referred to as correspondence analysis and related methods, or CARME), which allows for the description and visualisation of data using mathematical geometry. I am also interested in the historiographic implication of this approach, which has the added bonus of approaching (historical) data as something to studied in and of itself, in contrast to traditional multivariate statistics which treats data as a means of verifying or falsifying a priori hyptheses.
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