Professor Iain Duncan McCalman AO FRHS FASSA FAHA, was born in Nyasaland, Africa, was schooled in Zimbabwe, and earned his BA, MA and PhD in Canberra and Melbourne, Australia. He is Research Professor at the University of Sydney, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Iain has held many Visiting Research Fellowships in Britain and the US, including at All Souls, Oxford and as a Mellon Visiting Professor at Californian University of Technology, Pasadena.
He was awarded the Inaugural Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Teaching Excellence at the Australian National University in 1994, and was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007 for services to history and the humanities. He is a Fellow of three Learned Academies and is a former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was Director of the Humanities Research Centre, ANU, from 1995-2002.
Iain has written numerous articles in British, American and European History and Literature journals on Modern British, European and Imperial cultural history. He has also written and edited a number of books, including Radical Underworld (OUP, new ed 2001); Gold: Lost Histories and Forgotten Objects of Australia, (CUP, new ed 2001), his acclaimed The Romantic Age: An Oxford Companion to British Culture, 1776-1832, and The Last Alchemist: Count Cagliostro, Master of Magic in the Age of Reason (Harper Collins, New York, 2003), which has been translated into twelve languages.
He has been a historical consultant and narrator for a number of BBC, ABC and other TV and Film documentaries.
Iain’s book, Darwin’s Armada: how four voyagers to Australasia won the battle for evolution and changed the world was published in February 2009 by Penguin in Australia and New Zealand, and was released later that year by W.W. Norton & Company in the US and in the UK by Simon and Schuster. This was also the basis of a TV Series (ABC, Canada, NZ ) and exhibitions at the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney.
Iain is a former Federation Fellow and currently a Research Professor in history at the University of Sydney and co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. His new book, The Reef – A Passionate History, from Captain Cook to Climate Change, was published by Penguin in Australia in November and by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in the USA in May 2014.