The London School of Economics and Political Science

Why we've signed the Manifesto

"Public engagement is in the DNA of LSE, a university established and dedicated to discovering the ‘causes of things for the betterment of society’. We are the opposite of an ivory tower – located in the heart of central London and with a world class public events programme. Our faculty are engaged with all aspects of public life and our students are active volunteers. We want to be accessible, informative and interactive. At a time when so much public debate contains more heat than light, this is a moment when LSE can draw on its distinguished and distinctive history to engage with that debate, and shape a better future."

Minouche Shafik, LSE Director

Our approach to public engagement

LSE is a world leading university, specialising in social sciences, with a global community of people and ideas that transform the world. Founded in 1895 to create and share knowledge addressing major social challenges, LSE has worked hard ever since to secure its position both as a global research institute and at the forefront of efforts to maximize the benefits of social science.

Our commitment to addressing public problems through the advancement of social science is underpinned by public engagement activities. LSE leads on a local, national and global scale, recognising that we must listen and engage with the world outside academia in order to ensure that our research and expertise makes a difference to the ways in which questions, events or problems are understood and addressed around the world.

We also recognize the wider benefits of public engagement for the HE sector. Establishing an ongoing dialogue between research communities and the public helps to empower people, broaden attitudes and ensure that the work of universities and research institutes is understood by society at large as relevant to wider societal priorities and concerns.

Public engagement initiatives at LSE include our high profile free public lecture programme, which attracts thousands of people to LSE each term and stimulates thought and debate on social science issues; our annual LSE Festival, which opens up social science research to a wide pubic audience including neighbouring Londoners of all ages; our extensive podcast and video library which receives over 10 million downloads each year; our popular blogs; and seed funding to academic departments to encourage public engagement activities with their research.


Adrian Thomas, Director of Communications and Public Affairs