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Pioneers of the social sciences

LSE is a world-leading pioneer of the social sciences, having played a unique role in defining and developing key academic subjects.

International relations, social policy, sociology, social anthropology, social psychology and criminology all have their origins as subjects of university study in the innovative work carried out by LSE academics.

Teaching staff have included some of the world's most influential social scientists. Harold Laski was hugely significant in political science, as was R H Tawney in economic history, Friedrich Hayek in economics, Bronislaw Malinowski in anthropology, Richard Titmuss in social policy and Sir Arthur Bowley in statistics. A total of 16 alumni or staff have been awarded Nobel Prizes, and the research carried out at LSE has long been disseminated around the world, informing government policy and business practice.

With the highest percentage of world-leading research of any university in the UK, the School is committed to continuing its role as a guardian of the social sciences, leading the debate in new intellectual areas.

LSE continues to attract some of the most influential academic researchers from across the globe.

LSE history timeline

Would you like to find out more about the history of LSE? The LSE history blog features an interactive timeline covering key events in LSE's history. It contains entries on the School’s founders, its pioneering academics, from Harold Laski to Friedrich Hayek and Lionel Robbins, and the people and events which have shaped its continuing success as one of the world's foremost social science universities. LSE students, staff and alumni have the chance to contribute to the blog and their posts will be published in the Your history section.

View the Department of Government's timeline of influential LSE academics.

See Academic Departments and Research Centres indexes



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