Academic life

Find out about academic life at LSE through the years with this selection of blog posts about both influential and lesser-known academics and students from LSE’s past, and their lives on campus.

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    “An Unpromising Subject” – portrait of R H Tawney by Claude Rogers

“An Unpromising Subject” – portrait of R H Tawney by Claude Rogers

A portrait of the economic historian, R H Tawney, hangs on the 5th floor of Sardinia House. His association with the School lasted nearly 50 years from his arrival in 1913 to his death in 1962, writes LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly.

1950 marked the 70th birthday of Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962), economic historian and social critic, whose connection with LSE […]

A history of Economics at LSE part two – post-Robbins

In the second of a series charting the history of Economics at LSE, Jim Thomas explores the post-Robbins era from 1961, characterised by the “Americanisation” of Economics. 

The retirement of Lionel Robbins in 1961 led to some confusion over who would replace him as the head of the Department and, observing this as a very junior member of staff, I saw […]

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    A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part two 1988-1998

A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part two 1988-1998

In the second part of a mini-series, Norman Biggs, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Mathematics, gives a brief history of mathematics at LSE. He covers the structure of the department, the move away from the traditional BSc (Econ), and development of Mathematics as a degree in its own right.

At the start of the academic year 1988/89 the Sub-Department of Mathematics […]

  • Arnold Plant, Janet Beveridge and Lionel Robbins, 1920s
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    A history of Economics at LSE part one – Edwin Cannan and Lionel Robbins

A history of Economics at LSE part one – Edwin Cannan and Lionel Robbins

In the first of a series charting the history of Economics at LSE, Jim Thomas introduces the early principles of economics teaching, and explores the eras of Edwin Cannan (1895-1929) and Lionel Robbins (1929-1961). 
1895-1929: the era of Edwin Cannan
When LSE was founded in 1895, Economics was centred on Cambridge and the teaching of Alfred Marshall, whose Principles of Economics […]

LSE Law Centenary – a history of the Department

This is the first in the LSE Law Centenary series of blog posts celebrating a century since the formal beginnings of a Department of Law at LSE. The Department of Law was created in 1919, formalising a tradition of teaching law at LSE since its earliest days. 

For over a century LSE has pioneered legal education and scholarship as a central part of […]

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    A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part one 1895-1987

A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part one 1895-1987

In the first part of a new mini-series, Norman Biggs, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Mathematics, gives a brief history of mathematics at LSE. He covers the period from the foundation of LSE and evolution of the teaching of statistics, to the creation of the first Chair of Mathematics and a new BSc in the 1960s, finishing with changes afoot […]

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    Conjectures and refutations – Karl Popper and the growth of LSE Philosophy

Conjectures and refutations – Karl Popper and the growth of LSE Philosophy

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the promotion to Professor of the hugely influential philosopher, and founder of LSE’s Philosophy Department, Karl Popper. To celebrate this event Ewan Rodgers goes back to the archives to trace the story of LSE’s earliest forays into philosophy and the historical events that gave birth to the now world-renowned Department of Philosophy, Logic […]

Maureen Colquhoun – first openly gay woman in Parliament

Women’s rights activist and former Labour Member of Parliament for Northampton North Maureen Colquhoun was elected to the House of Commons in 1974. She became the first openly gay woman to serve in Parliament after coming out a year later, write Louise Armitage and Megan Marsh. Maureen studied at LSE in the mid-late 1940s and served as a local councillor […]

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    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, LSE and the origins of International Relations

Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, LSE and the origins of International Relations

Over the past few years there has been renewed scholarly interest in the early history of the discipline of International Relations (IR) and the seminal role played by such figures as E H Carr, Hans J Morgenthau and key liberal theorists who helped build the foundations upon which the subject of IR came to be constructed in the twentieth century. Professor […]

Hilde Himmelweit – pioneer of social psychology

In the mid 1960s Social Psychology emerged from Sociology as an independent department – the precursor of today’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, looks at the career of Hilde Himmelweit who led the discipline through its formative years at LSE.

Hildegarde Therese Litthauer was born in Berlin on 20 February 1918. Her father, Dr Siegfried […]