Case Studies

History & Policy: Hindsight perspectives for a safer world

Deepening understanding of issues and provoking creative solutions

Grant awarded: £121,617

Timeframe: 2021-23 


Project overview

History & Policy is a collaborative network based at the Institute of Historical Research and King’s College London, with connections to academic historians all over the UK and the world.

This project will commission professional historians to provide historical context and insight to contemporary safety challenges, in order to deepen understanding of the issues and provoke creative solutions. Working with the materials in the Heritage Education Centre (HEC), historians will produce five “Hindsight reports” within the scope of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s key safety challenges. 

Challenges faced by the industry today may have informative precedents. Trained historical analysis of the archive material, backed by wider research and specialised knowledge, can explore, for example, how technological change was successfully incorporated into fleets and infrastructure, and how safety regulation kept pace with change (or did not) and what the lessons are for professionals and policy makers today. A network of relevant historians, policy makers and professionals will help us tailor the reports to the requirements of potential stakeholders, ensuring that they combine academic rigour with practical value, and reflect the concerns of the present to inform the future. 


  • There is huge potential for professional, policy and public audiences to learn from the archive as they navigate the challenges of the coming years in the maritime and engineering industry, supported by a detailed research and report writing process managed by professional historians 
  • As the reports take shape, they will generate other outputs and activities such as workshops and blog posts, providing informative nuggets of information in their own right, and also spreading the word about the HEC collection and other archive’s resources and potential. 
  • The body of work created by the project will help the Heritage & Education Centre contribute to thought leadership iwider Foundation activities, and in the professional safety space. 
  • The global network of professionals, academics and public policy audiences created in the course of the project, and brought together under the banner of the Foundation’s key challenge areas, will outlast the project, and be a valuable resource to its members. 

Project Progress

The project started in March 2021 and initial focus will be on stakeholder mapping, round table events and building the network. If you would like to get involved please contact

Find out more about History & Policy 

Read some of the HEC micro-intern Hindsight perspectives blogs here for inspiration! 

Learning from the past

You can find out about our wider Learning from the past programme and also listen to a podcast about it here