Cain, Joe

Head of Department, and
Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology

Prof Cain's research interests include the history of evolutionary studies (especially the synthesis period in evolutionary studies), Darwin and Darwinism, history of science in London, and history of natural history.

Publications via UCL's IRIS service (link)

0207 679 3041 (UK)
+442076793041 (intl)
Twitter: @profjoecain

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Voices Project

Obama interview

A programme to produce oral history in the history of science and to promote reflection on best practice. Consultancies available. Dr Joe Cain is Director. Core 



Collect oral histories. Audio and video. Individuals and groups. Transciptions. Preparation for archival deposit. Sample interview (Web).


Consult on best practice, proposal writing and budgeting, especially hidden costs.


Training through graduate and undergraduate courses; also professional development workshops in oral history and interview methodology.


Encourage reflection on best practice and the interpretation of interviews within historical analysis. Supporting materials

equipment specifications and notes

Suggestions and notes on recording equipment, including some kit available for loan to STS staff and students for project work (Web).

audio tests

Audio tests for some recording equipment (Web) and microphones (Web) are now available.

getting started


Shopes, L. 2002. "What is Oral History?"
in History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web (pdf).

techniques and preparation

Yow, Valerie Raleigh. 2005. Recording Oral History. 2nd edition. (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press). Amazon UK | US

interpretation and reflection

Perks, R. and Thomson. 2006. The Oral History Reader. 2nd edition (Routledge). Amazon UK | US Ongoing work

PhD training

UCL graduate students and other London graduate research students can enrol in the skills development course on oral history and interview technique. Details.

considering a career in media?

Visit SkillSet, from the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries.

consult professional bodies

UK Oral History Society
US Oral History Association


AHA Standard of Professional Conduct 

ongoing projects

Grant Museum of Zoology: Past, Present and Future

A series of oral history interviews is underway with present and past staff of the GMZ.

Michael Ruse interviews

A series of interviews is underway with Prof Michael Ruse, philosopher and historian.

Page last modified on 05 aug 10 15:47 by Joe Cain

Professor Joe Cain
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies