The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

After a large majority of British MPs voted in favour of triggering Article 50 last night, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “history has been made”. And it’s tragic history indeed. The turkeys voted for Christmas once again – allegedly to uphold the will of the people who voted in a referendum on 23 June… Continue reading The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

Uncertainty and the post-truth society

The word ‘Brexit’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time this month, only weeks after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States and ‘post-truth’ was chosen as the word of the year. All three events are to a greater or lesser extent manifestations of anger with the establishment,… Continue reading Uncertainty and the post-truth society

You can’t buy an education

As university lecturers in the UK remain locked in a dispute with their employers over pay and working conditions in Higher Education, a survey published by private student loan company Future Finance this week revealed that less than half of students think their degree will help them get a graduate job to pay off their… Continue reading You can’t buy an education

Being a refugee

It’s weird to be writing a book about English republican exiles in the seventeenth century while thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa make their way to Europe every day. I’ve been wondering a lot what it might feel like to be a refugee and if there are experiences that might link these… Continue reading Being a refugee

Distractions in the lab – and elsewhere in academia

The comments made by the famous scientist and Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt at a recent conference in Korea show that sexism is alive and kicking in academia and elsewhere. Apparently, “three things happen when (women) are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise… Continue reading Distractions in the lab – and elsewhere in academia

Historians in Britain need to ask the right questions about Europe

Following the surprise result of the General Elections earlier this month historians in Britain have reopened the debate about Europe. Depending on where you stand, Britain is either part of Europe, or a strange place across the Channel you can travel to. The Historians for Britain who have come out in favour of ‘fundamental changes… Continue reading Historians in Britain need to ask the right questions about Europe

A historian in journalism – one week into the job

Just over one week into my new job at the press agency I must say I absolutely love it. Working at the foreign languages desk I spend most of my day monitoring the news coming in from our correspondents all over the world via the various ‘queues’ on my computer screen and see if any… Continue reading A historian in journalism – one week into the job

The survey that didn’t surprise us

Some surveys shock us, others fill us with a sense of relief that it’s not just us. The recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) survey undertaken by the University and College Union (UCU) does both. The summary of key findings  states that nearly two thirds of the 7,000 respondents said they thought the REF had ‘a… Continue reading The survey that didn’t surprise us

The Queen and Magna Carta

I’ve just been writing a lecture on ‘Transatlantic ideas of liberty’ for an Erasmus exchange with Potsdam University in a week’s time. Going through the ideals and principles of seventeenth-century English republicans which would later come to influence the American colonists in the War of Independence and inspire the US constitution, such as political and… Continue reading The Queen and Magna Carta