Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet

Science Policy under Thatcher lecture

20 Oct 2017

The 2017 Fred Jevons Science Policy Lecture will be delivered Jon Agar on 3 November 2017

The lecture, organised by the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, will be given at 6.30pm. 

Jon Agar is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the STS Department, University College London. He is the author of Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.

Margaret Thatcher, Conservative politician, the UK’s first female prime minister and a central figure in the resurgence of right-wing politics of the 1970s and 1980s, was also a trained scientist. Before becoming a Member of Parliament she studied chemistry at Oxford and applied her knowledge in two science-based companies in the 1940s and 1950s. 

In the 1970s, as a minister in Edward Heath’s administration, Thatcher was responsible for science and education. As prime minister, between 1979 and 1990, she presided over a critical period for science as well as intervening in many issues framed by scientific research.

With the release of government documents from the 1980s at the National Archives, it is now possible, for the first time, to trace the history of political decision-making around science and science policy in this period through primary sources. In this talk, Jon will review and analyse the course and causes of decisions over science and science-based issues in UK central government in the 1980s.

All are welcome to attend this lecture. Please register in advance: