The legacy of Richard Titmuss: social welfare fifty years on

Hosted by LSE Health and Department of Social Policy

In-person and online public event (Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House)


Professor Ann Oakley

Professor Ann Oakley

Professor Chris Renwick

Professor Chris Renwick

Professor Sally Sheard

Professor Sally Sheard

Professor John Stewart

Professor John Stewart


Professor Lucinda Platt

Professor Lucinda Platt

Richard Titmuss, the first chair in Social Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science, died fifty years ago in 1973. From his appointment in 1950 until his death Titmuss established and defined the field of social policy. This event will discuss Titmuss’s critique of the ‘welfare state’, and how his insights have had to evolve in the light of the challenges to, and strategies for, social welfare which have come to predominate since his death.

The event brings together authors of published and planned biographies of Richard Titmuss, Brian Abel-Smith and Peter Townsend, alongside Titmuss’ daughter, renowned academic Ann Oakley.

Meet our speakers and chair

Ann Oakley is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the UCL Social Research Institute. A social researcher for more than 50 years, and author of many academic publications, she is also well known for her biography, autobiography and fiction.

Chris Renwick is a historian of Britain since the early nineteenth century. He works mainly on the history of the social sciences and the welfare state. His work on these subjects has received international and interdisciplinary recognition. He is a Professor of Modern History at the University of York.

Sally Sheard is Executive Dean of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Liverpool, where she also holds the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Chair of Modern History. She is a health policy analyst and historian, with a research focus on the interface between expert advisers and policymakers. Sally collaborates with local authorities and NHS trusts, and has written for and appeared in numerous television and radio programmes.

John Stewart was Professor of the History of Healthcare (now Emeritus) at Glasgow Caledonian University.  His research and publications have focused on the history of health and social welfare in modern Britain.  Stewart's most recent book is Richard Titmuss: A Commitment to Welfare (Bristol, 2020), winner of the 2021 British Academy Peter Townsend Award. 

Lucinda Platt is Professor of Social Policy and Sociology in the Social Policy Department at LSE. She researches on a range of topics including child cognitive and emotional development, and children with special educational needs. She is author of Understanding Inequalities: Stratification and Difference.

More about this event

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LSE Health (@LSEHealthPolicy) is a world-leading multidisciplinary research centre with over 20 years of experience advancing global research in health policy and health economics.

The Department of Social Policy (@LSESocialPolicy) provides top quality international and multidisciplinary research and teaching on social and public policy challenges facing countries across the world.

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