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LSHTM and Colonialism: A report on the Colonial History of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (1899– c.1960)

The study was commissioned in 2018 by LSHTM and carried out by the Centre for History in Public Health at LSHTM. It aimed to understand the consequences of LSHTM’s engagement with the British Empire for research and teaching, and for its institutional development.

This is part of a wider programme of decolonisation work at LSHTM which seeks to uncover underlying structural issues which continue to hold back progress towards equity among staff, students and global partnerships. The colonial history report provides an opportunity for the LSHTM leadership and community to address the reality of its colonial legacy and impact, and to create a future that everyone can be proud of.

The work involved extensive research including reviewing LSHTM’s own archives as well as records elsewhere such as in the National Archives. Through an examination of funding, governance, teaching and partnerships, the report gives an account of the origins and first 60 years of LSHTM.

It brings into focus the extent to which LSHTM owed its existence and development through the first half of the 20th century to funding, students and research created to support colonialism, with what we now understand as associated patterns of racial discrimination and exploitation.

The report has been published and is available to read in full on the LSHTM website.

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