I worked briefly as a professional economist before returning to university to complete a PhD in the history of economic thought, later published as A Critical History of the Economy (Routledge, 2011). I am currently working on two projects. The first examines the role of economic discourse in Australian political rhetoric. The second project is to study the ethoi and arts of reasoning that economists were obliged to defend in early nineteenth-century Britain in response to widespread hostility to the very existence of their discipline, which was often treated as a form of philosophical enthusiasm. The long-range hypothesis to test in future work is that the manner in which political economy emerged as a distinct science in the nineteenth century made it exceedingly difficult to stabilise the office of the economist in relation to government, and that the nature of this office has been an object of contest inside and outside economics ever since.