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About Seb

Seb Falk astrolabe Whipple Museum

Seb Falk is a historian, teacher, broadcaster and historical consultant.  In 2016 he was named a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker.

His first book, The Light Ages (2020), is a wide-ranging history of medieval science, told through the life of an extraordinary monk, John of Westwyk.  At each stage of John's adventurous life as a novice and exile, crusader and inventor, we learn what he learned, seeing that the Middle Ages were far more advanced than is often assumed. 

The Light Ages was a Book of the Year 2020 in The TimesThe TLSThe Telegraph and other publications.

Photo: Jason Bye

Seb teaches medieval history and history of science at Cambridge University, where he is Senior Proctor and a Fellow of Girton College.


He specialises in the history of astronomy, navigation and mathematics - theories and technologies - from their ancient origins to modern developments.

Seb is a qualified teacher and a Yachtmaster. He has led mountain expeditions and run many marathons, worked in government and served as a Special Constable.  He is as comfortable sailing by the stars – while singing old sea shanties – as demonstrating ancient mathematical techniques.  As a lecturer and museum curator, he makes past science come alive, using authentic historic instruments and helping participants get hands-on with replicas.

Seb received his B.A. in History and Spanish from Oxford University, and an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge.  He stayed at Cambridge for a Ph.D., completing his thesis on late medieval astronomical instruments in 2016.

He lives in Cambridge, UK, with his wife and two children.

Seb Falk historian sailing yacht
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