Statistics and the Public Sphere: Numbers and the People in Modern Britain, C. 1800-2000
Statistics and the Public Sphere: Numbers and the People in Modern Britain, C. 1800-2000
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  • Contemporary public life in Britain would be unthinkable without the use of statistics and statistical reasoning. Numbers dominate political discussion, facilitating debate while also attracting criticism on the grounds of their veracity and utility. However, the historical role and place of statistics within Britain’s public sphere has yet to receive the attention it deserves. There exist numerous histories of both modern statistical reasoning and the modern public sphere; but to date, there are no works which, quite pointedly, aim to analyse the historical entanglement of the two. Statistics and the Public Sphere: Numbers and the People in Modern Britain, c.1800-2000 directly addresses this neglected area of historiography, and in so doing places the present in some much needed historical perspective.

  • Tom Crook is Lecturer in Modern British History at Oxford Brookes University. He has published in Social History, Urban History and Journal of Victorian Culture. He is currently completing a book-length study entitled Time and the Social Body: Public Health and English Modernity, 1830-1914.

    Glen O’Hara is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Britain and the Sea since 1600 (2010), From Dreams to Disillusionment; Economic and Social Planning in 1960s Britain (2007), and the co-editor of The Modernisation of Britain? Harold Wilson and the Labour Governments of 1964-1970 (2006).

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