Archive for May, 2013

Death of former Professors in History of Science

Monday, May 20th, 2013

News has reached us that Colin Archibald Russell (7 September 1928 – 17 May 2013) the Emeritus Professor in History of Science, the Open University has died. His BSC was awarded by the University of London and he went on to teach chemistry at Kingston and Preston while also studying for a M SC and PhD and later a DSc. In 1970 he became the founding Professor of the department of the history of science and technology at The Open University. (more…)

18th May 1970: the laying of a foundation stone, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes.

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Born in 1900 Louis Mountbatten was home-schooled, then attended a school in Hertfordshire and the Royal Naval College. Following Service in the First World War he became a mature student as he attended Cambridge for two terms where he studied engineering in a programme that was specially designed for ex-servicemen. He later returned to the Royal Naval College as an adult learner. He maintained an interest in education as between 1967 and 1978 he was president of an international educational body, the United World Colleges. He also showed an interest in technology in that he was a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and in 1939 was granted a patent for a system which ensured that the distance between two ships could be kept constant.

Although he became associated with stories of a plot to stage a coup d’état against the Labour government which created the OU his presence in 1970, opening the OU buildings in Milton Keynes, underlined that the OU was not simply an important element of a democratic socialist project. He was a a reminder of the importance of  its international and economic roles and its appeal to prescient technocrats.  The OU has many connections and, just as the Royal Charter bolstered its respectability, so too did this link to Mountbatten.

OU staff debate the history of the OU

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The OU: collective creation or top-down imposition?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Much of the reporting of the recent development of universities laments the passing of a golden age. Sometimes these accounts are a burnished and reconstructed version of the past which portray universities as victims. However, the OU has played a more active role. (more…)