UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


International Conference - "175 Years of The Economist"

On 24 and 25 September 2015 we welcomed a variety of historians, political and economic scholars to UCL to debate the origins, culture and development of The Economist magazine. The conference began with a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the magazine, as we were joined by former editors Andrew Knight, Rupert Pennant-Rea, Bill Emmott, and  the recently appointed editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes. This opening roundtable served as an excellent springboard for two days of stimulating discussions on political economy, the development of liberalism and editorial control in economic journalism.

The EconPublic team is now taking this forward by preparing an edited volume which will consolidate and extend the excellent scholarship from the conference into a timely examination of the political, economic and cultural impact of one of the most significant news publications in the modern world as it reaches its 175th anniversary.

Opening event

Roundtable with editors of The Economist. 


Venue: Gordon House 106, 29 Gordon Sq, London WC1H 0PY

For more detailed information, visit: www.economist-175.eu

Thursday 24 September, 2015 

13:3-14:00. Introductions

  • “Epochs of The Economist”, Tiago Mata (ECONPUBLIC, UCL-STS)

14:00-15:45. Crises

  • “Economic media as financial observatory: the panic of 1866”, Alexandre Mendes Cunha & Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Federal University of Minas Gerais)
  • “How to Prevent a Banking Panic: the Barings Crisis of 1890“, Eugene White (Rutgers University)
  • “In Search of Efficiency: The Economist’s coverage of GFC to 1873, 1929 & 1987”, Shant Fabricatorian (Columbia University)

16:00-17:15. Print Culture

  • “‘It’s anonymous. It’s The Economist.’ The journalistic and business value of anonymity”, Angel Arrese (University of Navarra)
  • “Two brands of cosmopolitan journalism: The Atlantic and the Economist”, Francisco Seoane Perez (University of Castilla-La Mancha)

17:30-18:45. Liberalism

  • “The Economist and the Liberal Party: false friend or critical ally?”, Peter Sloman (New College, Oxford)
  • “Walter Layton and John Maynard Keynes: Debating Liberal Economic Orthodoxy in the Interwar Economist”, Alexander Zevin (City University of New York)

19:00-20:00. The Economist Archive

  • Jeannette Strickland (The Economist)

Friday 25 September, 2015 

10:15-11:30. Peripheries

  • “The Other Half of Europe: The Economist for Bulgarian Internal & External Affairs”, Vasil Paraskevov (Konstantin Preslavsky University)
  • “‘Complexo de vira-lata’: The Economist on Brazil domestic disputes”, Tomás Undurraga (ECONPUBLIC, UCL-STS)

11:45-13:00. Financial Mobilization

  • “‘Imperial Folly’: The Economist and the high-tide of metrication c 1960-80”, Aashish Velkar (University of Manchester)
  • “Financial heroism: financing the First World War in Britain and Germany”, Josephine Maltby (University of Sheffield) & Janette Rutterford (Open University)

14:00–15:45. Science, Technology, Medicine

  • “The Economist and the Early Telecommunications Industry”, James Foreman-Peck (Cardiff University)
  • “Beating the drum quickly: The Economist’s Technology Quarterly and Innovation”, Jonathan Coopersmith (Texas A&M)
  • “The Economist on Drugs”, Jonas von Hoffmann (University of Oxford)

16:00-17:15. In the Beginning…

  • “James Wilson, The Economist, and liberalism in the 1840s”, C.P. Read (University of Cambridge and The Economist)
  • “Political Economy and the voice of The Economist“, Harro Maas (University of Lausanne)

More information on the conference website at www.economist-175.eu.