Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. The H&P office can help historians to publish Opinion Articles in the national media or on this website. We currently have 170 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


‘Just a chap who messed about in the lab’: Fred Sanger and DNA sequencing

Fred Sanger won two Nobel Prizes. Dr Lara Marks argues that the freedom to think and time to experiment were vital to his groundbreaking discoveries. In today's hypercharged academic worlds, such opportunities are increasingly rare. 

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Overlooked scientific innovation reaps rewards 40 years on

Dr Lara Marks recounts an overlooked scientific development that has revolutionised healthcare today. The story of monoclonal antibodies underlines the long-term value of government investment in science, she argues.

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Two-tier system

Gender parity may been achieved in some British honours but Dr Toby Harper, of Providence College, explains how changes to the system in recent years have made it more hierarchical and unequal. 

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Historians for Britain and the ‘historical perspective’ on Europe

As debate about controversial political issues such as Europe accelerates, Dr Tom Charlton challenges historians to acknowledge the contestabilty of their interpretations - particularly when used to advocate for political ends.

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The political art of duelling

Dr Margery Masterson, of the University of Bristol, considers lessons from the etiquette and politics of nineteenth-century duelling in light of a curious challenge to UKIP leader Nigel Farage. 

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What will define the 2015 election?

Dr Jon Lawrence, of Cambridge University, considers the decline of election hustings and politicians’ reluctance to engage with ordinary voters in the 2015 campaign. 

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Two anniversaries: the enduring fragility of Magna Carta

In 1915 Britain was deemed too busy fighting to preserve the values enshrined in Magna Carta to celebrate its 700th anniversary. Paradoxically, argues Dr Andrew Blick, during the First World War Britain violated many of the principles associated with the landmark 1215 document. And that fragility remains today.  

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Humanitarian impartiality, anti-austerity and the political turn of NGOs

In response to criticism of humanitarian NGOs’ ‘political turn’, Dr Emily Baughan argues that charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children were founded by the left, not hijacked by it. 

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Can we never learn? Abuse, complaints and inquiries in the NHS

While past abuse scandals have galvanised public inquiries, Professor Sally Sheard shows that wider institutional barriers, and politics, can influence whether a minister drives through change. 

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‘These outrages are going on more than people know’

Concern about child sex abuse, and attempts to prevent it, have a long history, argue Dr Adrian Bingham, Dr Lucy Delap, Dr Louise Jackson and Dr Louise Settle.

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About Us


H&P is a unique collaboration between the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London and the University of Cambridge.

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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