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RSA Scotland Fellow-led: 'The Tiger in the Grass': The Merits of Applied History

Fellowship Event

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Appleton Tower, The University of Edinburgh

Join us for this Scotland Fellow-led event, with Robert Crowcroft FRSA highlighting the ways in which a historical cast of mind can stimulate the imagination and provoke fresh thinking.

There is now a growing debate about the concept of 'Applied History' - how far, and in what ways, the lessons of the past might be utilised to improve policymaking on present and future challenges. This remains a subject of controversy within the academy, and those who make the case for Applied History have sometimes been accused of 'presentism' and 'going beyond the documents'. Yet Applied History connects to a much older vision of history, one in which the past offers entry to - in the words of John Robert Seeley - a unique 'school of statesmanship'.

In this paper, Robert Crowcroft will highlight the ways in which a historical cast of mind can stimulate the imagination and provoke bold thinking. While there are important limitations to using the past in this way, nevertheless history stands in close relation to practical life.


Robert will be joined by a panel consisting of Andrew Ehrhardt (King's College London), Tereza Valny (University of Edinburgh) and David Kaufman (University of Edinburgh).

There will be plenty of opportunities for an enlightening exchange of views, so please do come along.

Location: Appleton Tower, (Room 2.12), The University of Edinburgh, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

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