Dr John Lidwell-Durnin's research is focused on the history of science in Europe in the long 19th century. His previous research explored popular understandings of heredity in the early 19th century, examining the role played by deep-set social attitudes towards food security and production, population, and race. Dr Lidwell-Durnin's publications to-date focus on the role played by citizens as a base of evidence and experimentation in debates over the mechanics of heredity in Britain and America, prior to the emergence of eugenic terminology. His current research examines the intersection between the agricultural sciences and the environment, with a particular interest in how citizens and the wider public understood the impact of farming, mining, and deforestation.
Dr Lidwell-Durnin is currently developing a project on the global environmental history of soil, which will explore the anxieties that resulted from mining, deforestation, and changing agricultural practices near the close of the 18th century.