David Willetts

David Willetts was formerly a science minister and he now sits on the board of a number of scientific bodies, including the UK Space Agency. He is a fellow at the Royal Society.

Defending science from ‘cancel culture’

27 min listen

Freedom of speech is one of the fundamental tenets of a liberal democracy, and yet threats to freedom of speech today don’t so much come from authoritarians abroad as they do from within. The idea of ‘no-platforming’ those you disagree with, or ‘cancelling’ them, has taken root in all forms of public debate, and increasingly

Working for Mrs Thatcher

A doctor providing geriatric care once told me of the damage Mrs Thatcher had done to the NHS. He used to employ a simple test to find out whether his elderly patients had become seriously gaga. He would ask them who the Prime Minister was: as their minds weakened so the only name they came

The role of the state

Tony Judt is a vivacious and controversial historian. He is Jewish but has turned against Israel. He is a thinker of the Left who has ended up in the USA. And now he has been struck down with a grievous illness, a virulent form of motor neurone disease which has left him paralysed from the

The world we have lost

The Whig interpretation of history, a relentlessly progressive account of the emergence of our parliamentary system, has long been out of fashion when it comes to politics. But histories of social policy are all too often complacent accounts of ‘the development’ or ‘evolution’ of state provision. This excellent book breaks with that tradition by reminding