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Call for historical advisers in government


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Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler has called for every government department to appoint a historical adviser. In Civil Service World, Lord Butler describes those who take policy decisions in ignorance of the lessons of history as 'like a driver who commits to some manoeuvre in the road without looking into the rear mirror'. Dr Lucy Delap, incoming Director of H&P, welcomed the debate: 'Lord Butler has pointed to a real problem at the heart of British government - its tendency to live in the present. This impoverishment can be remedied by drawing on the expertise of Britain's first class historical profession, leading to a sense of 'what works' being embedded in government.' H&P currently runs seminar series in the Department for Education and the Treasury. 'Historical perspectives can help policy makers to 'think in time', spot patterns and avoid the mistakes of their predecessors,' said Dr Delap.

Read the article: Every department should have a historical adviser

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H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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