Dr Linda Ross


I joined the Department in June 2022 as a Research Fellow with the Nuclear Spaces: Communities, Materialities and Locations of Nuclear Cultural Heritage (NuSPACES) project. As an energy and nuclear historian, this role allows me to build on prior research undertaken as part of my PhD study with the University of the Highlands and Islands and Historic Environment Scotland, where I examined the social and cultural impact of the Dounreay Experimental Research Establishment on the far north of Scotland. Prior to joining Kingston University, I was a Research Assistant with Economic & Social History at the University of Glasgow, working on an Energy Nationalisms project. This expanded my focus, with much of my time dedicated to researching the development of anti-nuclear energy protest in Scotland. 

My interest in heritage, alongside my practical and theoretical understanding, developed during my career as an industrial museum curator. As Senior Curator of the Scottish Maritime Museum I was responsible for all duties relating to the care, conservation and interpretation of the Museum's Recognised collection across two sites. This included extensive research and writing, including exhibitions, collections research and oral history. I maintain my link with SMM as a Board Member. I've also worked in heritage organisations including Historic Environment Scotland, where my role with the Buildings at Risk Register team focused on recording and safeguarding the built environment.

I'm a founder member of the Rural Modernism network, and Reviews Editor for the journal Northern Scotland. I write regularly for The Modernist magazine.

Academic responsibilities

Research Fellow


  • PhD (2019), University of the Highlands and Islands / Historic Environment Scotland: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award: ‘Nuclear fission and social fusion': the impact of the Dounreay Experimental Research Establishment on Caithness, 1953-1966
  • PgDip Museum and Gallery Studies (2006), University of St Andrews
  • MA (Hons) English Literature / History of Art (2005), University of Glasgow


I am dedicated to the fusion of technological, social and cultural histories. This has characterised my career as a curator and researcher, where my focus has been on the heritage of industrial communities and nuclear energy-related societies respectively. Having completed a PhD which established a new framework for studying local-national dichotomies in nuclear projects, and undertaken postdoctoral research covering nuclear heritage, protest and waste, I foreground nuclear communities in my work. 

As a Research Fellow with the Nuclear Spaces: Communities, Materialities and Locations of Nuclear Cultural Heritage (NuSPACES) project, I examine the social, economic and cultural impact of the technology and its heritage, from the early years to those of decommissioning. Looking to the future, addressing the challenges nuclear societies face as sites move from being home to innovative technology to the preserve of heritage within a generation is something which is increasingly time-critical. NuSPACES is an international research project funded by the AHRC and consortium as part of the EU JPICH programme (2021-2024).

I am interested in rural development, particularly in the Scottish Highlands and Islands where I grew up. The area is often considered remote and 'apart' from development: my research aims to show that it was anything but, with many of the region's post-war infrastructure projects related to the UK's geo- or techno-expansion. The industrial projects it supported, its place at the forefront of nuclear development, and its Cold War strategic position in the north Atlantic are all areas ready for future research.

Areas of specialism

  • Nuclear cultural heritage
  • Nuclear history
  • Rural development
  • Post-war Highlands and Islands
  • Post-war infrastructure


Number of items: 27.


Ross, Linda M. (2021) Dounreay : creating the nuclear north. The Scottish Historical Review, 100(1), pp. 82-108. ISSN (print) 0036-9241

Book Section

Alexis-Martin, B., Turnbull, J., Bennett, L., Bolton, M., Davies, T., Dunlop, G., Hawkins, D., Hogue, R.H., Holloway, P., Malin, S.A, Mangioni, T.L., Mayoux, C., McClelland, G., Meyer, T., Slavick, E.O. and Ross, L.M. (2021) Nuclear geographies and nuclear issues. In: Richardson, D. , Castree, N. , Goodchild, M.F. , Kobayashi, A. , Liu, W. and Marston, R.A., (eds.) International encyclopedia of geography, people the earth and technology. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118786352

Conference or Workshop Item

Ross, Linda M (2022) The Highlands and Islands: an evolving history. In: Northern Scotland - The Leviathan of Highland and Emigration History: a conference in honour of Eric Richards; 10-11 Jun 2022, Inverness, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda (2022) From ‘atom town’ to the ‘atomic menace’ : Scotland’s changing nuclear narratives. In: EHS Conference 2022; 01-03 Apr 2022, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda (2021) Dounreay: new perceptions of the nuclear north. In: Scottish Society for Northern Studies Seminar Series; 16 Dec 2021, Held online. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2021) Nuclear narratives: beyond the official archive. In: Nuclear History and the Archive; 7 Sep 2021, Held online. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda (2021) From improvement to technopolitics : post-imperial readjustment in the nuclear north. In: ESHSS Conference 2021 : Who Owned Scotland? Past Present Future; 25 Jun 2021, Held online. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda (2021) An introduction to Thurso's expansion. In: Architecture Fringe 2021 : Thurso : 'Atomic Town'; 07 Jun 2021, Held online. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda and Gunn, James (2019) A walk through Thurso’s “atomic estates”, Pennyland to the west of the river and Mount Vernon to the east of the river. In: Nuclear Cultural Heritage Workshop : Interpreting : Nuclear Imaginaries and Mediators; 09-13 Sep 2019, Thurso, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2019) Nuclear modernity: countering the Highland narrative, 1953-1966. In: New lives, new landscapes: rural modernism in twentieth century Britain; 1-2 Aug 2019, Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2019) The Dounreay watershed : employment in Caithness, 1954-1966. In: UHI centre for history postgraduate research event 2019; 5-6 Jun 2019, Dornoch, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2019) Dounreay: post-war planning in the nuclear north, 1954-1963. In: The Landscape and Architecture of British Post-War Infrastructure; 15 Feb 2019, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Dounreay: the nuclear north. In: Power at the Edge: Energy Politics and the Periphery; 29-30 Nov 2018, Liverpool, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Science and technology in the Highlands and Islands. In: The Opportunities & Challenges of Studying the 20th-Century History of Science, Technology & Medicine; 5 Oct 2018, Wick Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Dounreay: 'nuclear fission and social fusion' in Scotland's atom town,1954-1966. In: UHI Environmental Research Institute Seminar; 4 Oct 2018, Thurso, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Atom town: people, place and modernity in Scotland's far north, 1955-1965. In: International Conference of Historical Geographers; 16-20 Jul 2018, Warsaw, Poland. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) 'Haggis' magazine: frontier science in the satirical sixties. In: UHI Centre for History Postgraduate Research Event 2018; 14-15 Jun 2018, Dornoch, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Nuclear fission and social fusion, 1954-1966, the impact of Dounreay on life in Caithness. In: Saltire Society Seminar; 21 Apr 2018, Inverness, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2018) Dounreay, people and place in Caithness, 1954-1966. In: Scottish Society for Northern Studies Conference; 11-14 Apr 2018, Thurso, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2017) Dounreay : 'nuclear fission and social fusion' in the far north of Scotland, 1954-65. In: History of Nuclear Energy and Society (HoNESt) Summer School; 18-22 Sep 2017, Barcelona, Spain. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2017) The impact of Dounreay experimental reactor establishment on the far north of Scotland- experiences and development of rural places. In: CDP provocations round table series, event two- researching objects and researching place; 27 July 2017, Tate Britain, London, England, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. [Researcher] (2017) Dounreay: nuclear fission and social fusion. In: Scottish Historical Review Trust Works in Progress Conference; 2-3 June 2017, Dundee, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2017) Housing the Atomics - architecture and community in Thurso. In: Caithness Horizons Public Event; 16 March 2017, Thurso, Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. [Researcher] (2017) Protecting ‘at distance’: saving objects and historic machine tools. In: Regeneration and Waterfront Heritage Zones in Northern Europe 2017 Conference; 20 January 2017, Glasgow, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. (2016) Research update: atomic heritage. In: Historic Environment Scotland Research Seminar; 1 December 2016, Edinburgh, UK. (Unpublished)

Ross, Linda M. [Researcher] (2016) Dounreay: Caithness and the impact of the ‘white heat’ of technology. In: Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory Rurality Conference; 21-23 October 2016, Kirkwall Orkney Scotland, UK. (Unpublished)


Ross, Linda Mary (2019) Nuclear fission and social fusion : the impact of the Dounreay Experimental Research Establishment on Caithness, 1953-1966. (PhD thesis), University of the Highlands and Islands, .

This list was generated on Fri Mar 31 07:12:28 2023 BST.