Sir Roland Jackson (1976, Molecular Immunology) to publish Scientific Advice to the Nineteenth-Century British State
This November, Exeter College alumnus Sir Roland Jackson (1976, Molecular Immunology) will release a new contribution to the history of science and politics entitled Scientific Advice to the Nineteenth-Century British State. Roland Jackson is an honorary research fellow at University College London and chief executive of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He formerly headed the Science Museum London. Trained as a bioscientist, Roland Jackson has written widely on the history, policy, and ethics of science. In 2018, he released The Ascent of John Tyndall, a comprehensive biography of one of the foremost physicists of the nineteenth century.
Scientific Advice to the Nineteenth-Century British State documents how the huge scientific advances of the time made their way to politicians and eventually, into public policy. It provides the first detailed analysis of the provision of scientific, engineering, and medical advice to the nineteenth-century British government, parliament, the civil service, and the military. Roland Jackson recounts how scientific experts two centuries ago left a significant legacy that is still visible in today’s highly-organised system of scientific and governmental interaction.
Rebekah Higgitt of National Museums Scotland said of the book, “Jackson draws skilfully on an impressive array of sources to provide the first systematic account of the growing role of scientific advice to the nineteenth-century British state, on food and energy production, war and empire, industry, transport, taxation, and health. Combining history of science with history of the state, his book sheds new light on both the status of science and scope of government action.”