UK

Lisa Jardine: Tributes after renowned historian dies

  • 26 October 2015
  • From the section UK
Lisa Jardine

Tributes have been paid to historian and biographer Lisa Jardine following her death at the age of 71 from cancer.

Professor Jardine, a professor of renaissance studies at University College London and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society, was praised as "inspirational" and a "brilliant communicator".

Prof Jardine served as chair of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) from 2008 to 2014.

She was also a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum for eight years.

Listen: Lisa Jardine on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs

As an author, Prof Jardine tackled subjects including Shakespeare, Erasmus and 17th Century Holland.

She was also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and established the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of London.

'Inspiring leader'

Historian Lord Hennessy, a colleague at Queen Mary's, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Lisa was a polymath. She was a natural swimmer in both the scientific stream and the arts and humanities stream.

"She bedazzled her generation. She had an inspirational effect."

The UK government's chief scientific adviser, Prof Sir Mark Walport, added: "She was a brilliant communicator.

"Life, I think, is very much what we make of it, and she really made the most of her life.

"Her work at the HFEA was enormously important because she brought together the science with the public engagement and the debate about the ethics. She was an inspiring leader."

Historian Simon Schama tweeted: "Lisa Jardine was one of the great historians. She understood that to write of humanity you needed to be fully part of it."

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman wrote: "So, so sad to hear of death of wonderful @ProfLisaJardine. A great intellect & completely down to earth. A beacon for women. RIP."


Lisa Jardine was a regular contributor to the BBC's A Point of View, and featured on this website for many years. Here is a selection of some of her most popular pieces.

The power of a red dress

The man who dreamed of the atom bomb

IVF and the marketing of hope

Dazzling in an age of austerity


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