Hindsight Perspectives for a Safer World is a joint collaboration between History & Policy at King’s College London and the Lloyds Register Foundation. We are looking for historians to work with in maritime, technological, transport and environmental history and related fields. The project seeks to draw out the lessons of the past in shipping and engineering, innovation, technological change and safety and present them to policy makers and professionals working in these industries, particularly as they deal with enormous systemic changes of decarbonisation.
The project is managed by Professor Andrew Blick, Head of the Department of Political Economy, and Alix Mortimer of the School of Politics and Economics at King’s College London. We are commissioning historians to take part by writing (paid) reports on aspects of relevant maritime and engineering history, aimed at policy makers and professionals. The aims and style are similar to those of History & Policy policy papers. The reports will use the Foundation’s own key challenges and their Heritage and Education Centre archives as the starting point. We envisage a length of 5-7k words each and a fee is paid of £1,000 per report, with all work to be completed within 2022. We aim to produce five reports in total and have already commissioned two.
We are hoping this will be of interest to historians at all levels who want to make maritime industry contacts and contribute to policy and public discourse. As with many of our projects we hope to work with academics at a number of seniority levels, but report authors should at least hold a PhD. We are also seeking to build contacts for a steering committee which will help shape the reports alongside industry professionals, and we welcome expressions of interest on this too – you may be asked to make your expertise available in no more than three meetings over the next year.
The subject areas can be developed in discussion but might include, for example, innovation and development in shipping and engineering technologies and how these were implemented in the past, how shipping infrastructure developed and the economic/social contexts of ports and their hinterlands over time, how maritime and engineering knowledge and practices were developed and passed on, safety practices and regulations, how communities and industries managed marine and other environmental resources in the past and what the lessons might be for sustainability today. The authors may be historians of transport, technology, industry, energy, environment, or a related area we haven’t thought of! The focus can be regional or global and adaptable to any time period or expertise area, and the report could take the form of a comparison, a case study or a general review. See the full call here. We are particularly interested in two specific areas at the moment – a history of engineering training, and the effects of technological and economic change on ports and their hinterlands. We recently had an intern working with Lloyds on the latter topic, and she completed a quick review of some of the materials in the Lloyds catalogue.
If this sounds like something that would fit with your research goals and time commitments, or you are simply interested in learning more about the project or the archive, please contact Alix Mortimer email@example.com. You may be interested in this short podcast (with transcript) about the contents of the Lloyds Register Foundation archive.