Nathan Bossoh is the first ever appointed Research Curator of the African Collections at the Science Museum London where he is helping the Science Museum Group to begin to better understand the provenance, significance, and future development of the over 5000 'Wellcome' African materials in their possession. Although these African materials were gathered during the 19th and 20th centuries by the British pharmacist and imperialist Sir Henry Wellcome (1853 - 1936) then later transferred to the Science Museum during the 1970s and 80s, they have never been subjected to any major systematic investigations. Therefore, my core tasks as Research Curator are to conduct historical case studies into the collections; establish new and relevant institutional and community networks across Britain and Africa; and draw up a final report which will formally appraise the collections and recommend future steps.
Nathan earned his PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from UCL in 2022 and is an STS Honorary Research Fellow at UCL. In broad terms his research situates around the intersecting themes of empire, race, and religion as entangled operations in the historical production and transmission of science, medicine and museums. A core component of his work explores the ways in which African knowledge and practice, as well as European perceptions of Africanness, influenced and shaped numerous historical developments in science, medicine, and Western museums. His main period of interest is roughly between 1750 to 1950, and regionally he focuses on Britain and West Africa. Nathan utilises postcolonial, decolonial, and material cultural approaches, and as an applied historian engaged in interdisciplinary research he actively draws on perspectives gathered from a range of fields including science and religion; science and technology studies; environmental humanities; African studies; and museum studies.