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Lisa Jardine: Tribute to Renowned Historian

26 October 2015

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Professor Lisa Jardine CBE FRS passed away on Sunday 25 October 2015.

Professor Lisa Jardine

Lisa joined UCL in 2012 as Professor of Renaissance Studies, and was Director of the UCL Centre for Humanities Inter-Disciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP). She was also the founding Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL), which develops archive-based research projects of relevance to the period 1500–1800.

Lisa published over fifty scholarly articles, and wrote or co-wrote seventeen books, including influential studies of Shakespeare, Humanism, and Erasmus and lives of Bacon, Wren and Hooke. In her later work, she made particularly important contributions to the history of science in Europe and to the study of Dutch history and of Anglo-Dutch relations. Several of Lisa’s books have won international prizes.

Lisa wrote reviews for many major UK national newspapers and magazines, and both presented and appeared regularly on arts, history, and current affairs programmes for television and radio. She was a regular writer and presenter of BBC Radio 4's ‘A Point of View’, and appeared on Desert Island Discs earlier this year. 

A towering figure

Lisa was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge. She held honorary doctorates of Letters from the University of St Andrews, Sheeld Hallam University and the Open University, and an honorary doctorate of Science from the University of Aberdeen. She was a Trustee of the V&A Museum for eight years, and was a member of the Council of the Royal Institution in London for five years. From 2008 to 2014 she served as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – the UK government regulator for assisted reproduction. Lisa was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association in 2012, and served as its President from 2013-14. In May 2015 Lisa was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. In June 2015 Lisa’s book Temptation in the Archives: Essays in Golden Age Dutch Culture became the first book to be published by UCL Press, the UK’s first Open Access University Press.

Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost, UCL, said 'I was very sad to hear that Professor Lisa Jardine has passed away. She was a towering figure, a truly outstanding academic, and a great academic leader at UCL, as well as being a great public intellectual figure, with many followers across the nation. We will all miss her greatly, and send our sincere condolences to her family and colleagues in the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) at this very difficult time’.

Professor Jonathan Wolff, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, added, ‘Lisa generously gave so much to UCL and the Faculty, as well as to CELL, in the few years she was here: energy, fun, wonderful accomplishments, and quite a touch of glamour. We will all miss her terribly, and send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends’.

If you would like to submit a tribute to Lisa, please contact Catherine Thomson, Marketing and Communications Manager, UCL Joint Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences: Email: catherine.thomson@ucl.ac.uk or telephone 0207 679 1350 (internal 31350).

More on Lisa's work: