Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures

Barnett House instituted a special annual lecture soon after it was founded in 1914. The first Barnett House lecture was given in 1917 and published as the Barnett House Papers No 1 by Oxford University Press in the same year. Sidney Ball, chairman of the Barnett House Committee, died in March 1918. A memorial endowment was established in his name (it still exists now and funds the lectures) and the first Sidney Ball Memorial lecture was delivered on 1 December 1920 by the Right Hon. Sir Horace Plunkett (see the events pages for information on the Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures).

 Plunkett began this first lecture: “I have the honour to inaugurate [the memorial lectures] today.  Their aim will be the promotion of an intimate and mutually helpful relationship between the thought of the University Sidney Ball adorned and the working life of the community he lived to serve.”

Barnett House retained copyright over the lectures except, by special agreement, that delivered by John Maynard Keynes in 1924. Where possible, we have added the original texts to the list below.

Barnett House Papers

  1. Charles E B Russell, 'The Problem of Juvenile Crime'.  Barnett House Papers No. 1, OUP 1917

  2. Spurley Hey,  'Development of the Education of Wage-earners, with special reference to the Education of Older Boys and Girls'.  Barnett House Papers No. 2, OUP 1917

  3. Sir Henry Hadow,  'The Needs of Popular Musical Education'  Barnett House Papers No. 3, OUP 1918

  4. The Right Hon H A L Fisher, 'The Place of the University in National Life', Barnett House Papers No. 4, OUP 1919

  5. The Right Hon G N Barnes, 'The Industrial Section of the League of Nations'  Barnett House Papers No. 5, OUP 1920

Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures

  1. Sir Horace Plunkett, ‘The Universities and Rural Life’. 1 December 1920, printed as ‘Oxford and the Rural Problem’ Barnett House Papers No.6, OUP 1921

  2. Sir William Ashley, ‘Scientific Management and the Engineering Situation’.  Barnett House Papers No. 7, OUP 1922

  3. G.M.Trevelyan, ‘The Historical Causes of the Present State of Affairs in Italy’  31 October 1923,  Barnett House Papers No. 8, OUP 1923

  4. John Maynard Keynes, ‘The End of Laissez Faire’  November, 1924. The essay with the same title, published in 1926 by the Hogarth Press was stated to be based on the 1924 Sidney Ball lecture. The Hogarth Press version has been reprinted many times, most recently in J M Keynes, Essays in Persuasion, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010.

  5. Lord Hugh Cecil, ‘Natural Instinct The Basis of Social Institutions’ 25 November 1925,  Barnett House Papers No. 9, OUP 1926

  6. Sir Josiah Stamp, ‘The Statistical Verification of Social and Economic Theory’ 5 November 1926, Barnett House Papers No 10, OUP 1927

  7. Mrs. Sidney Webb, ‘The English Poor Law: Will it Endure?’ 21 November 1927, Barnett House Papers No 11, OUP 1928

  8. A.C. Pigou, ‘The Functions of Economic Analysis’  27 May 1929,  Barnett House Papers No 12, OUP 1929 (A.C. Pigou was invited to speak in 1928 but was delayed by illness)

  9. Sir William H.  Beveridge, ‘The Past and Present of Unemployment Insurance'  7 February 1930, Barnett House Papers No. 13, OUP 1930

  10. Lord D’Abernon, ‘Foreign Policy’ October 31 1930, Barnett House Papers No 14, OUP 1930  

  11. Edwin Cannan, ‘Balance of Trade Delusions’ 13 November 1931, Barnett House Papers No. 15, OUP 1931

  12. The Right Hon. Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, ‘The Machinery of Government’ 16 November 1932,  Barnett House Papers No 16, OUP 1932

  13. R.H.Tawney,  ‘Juvenile Employment and Education’, 2 May 1934, Barnett House Papers No.17, OUP 1934

  14. The Right Hon. Herbert Morrison, ‘Man: The Master or the Slave of Material Things?’ 15 November 1934,  Barnett House Papers No. 18, OUP, 1935

  15. Professor Dr. Hermann Levy, ‘The New Aspects of Industrial Combination’ 26 October 1935, Barnett House Papers No.19, OUP 1936

  16. Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith, ‘The Borderland between Public and Voluntary Action in the Social Services’ Barnett House Papers No. 20, OUP 1937

  17. Sir Alexander Maxwell ‘Treatment of Crime’ 16 November 1937, Barnett House Papers No.21, OUP 1938

  18. Dr. A. L. Bowley ‘The Average and the Individual’ 3 November 1938, Barnett House Papers No. 22, OUP 1938

  19. Sir William Beveridge ‘Some Experiences of Economic Control in Wartime’ 29 February 1940, Barnett House Papers No. 23, OUP 1940

  20. F. P. Walters ‘Administrative Problems of International Organisation’ 28 February 1941, Barnett House Papers No. 24, OUP 1941

  21. J. H. Clapham ‘The Historian Looks Forward’ 4 June 1942, Barnett House Papers No. 25, OUP 1942

  22. 26 February 1943, H.E. Dale ‘The Personnel and Problems of the Higher Civil Service’ Barnett House Papers No. 26 OUP 1943

  23. Sir Walter Layton ‘The British Commonwealth and World Order’ 3 March 1944, Barnett House Papers No. 27, OUP 1944

  24. Henry Clay ‘War and Unemployment’ 8 March 1945, Barnett House Papers No. 28, OUP 1945

  25. Sir Oliver Franks, The Provost of Queens, ‘The Experience of a University Teacher in the Civil Service’ 29 May 1947, Barnett House Papers No. 29, OUP 1947

  26. Harold Clay ‘Industrial Democracy’  Barnett House Paper No.30 OUP 1949 (It is not clear whether this was a Sidney Ball lecture)

  27. Edward A Shils ‘Future Developments in Sociology in England', 1949

  28. Lord Citrine, ‘Problems of nationalised industries, 1951

  29. Sir Douglas Copland, ‘The full employment economy, with special reference to wages policy, 1953

  30. Alva Myrdal, ‘The social sciences programme of UNESCO’, 1953   

  31. Sir Robert Hall, ‘The place of the economist in government’, 1954    

  32. Mr Francis Biddle, ‘The control of American foreign policy’, 1955   

  33. Professor W A Lewis, ‘Taxation and economic development’, 1956

  34. W J M Mackenzie, ‘The export of electoral systems’, 1957    

  35. Barbara Wootton, ‘The Arbitrator’s Task’,1958  

  36. Kenneth Younger, ‘Trained manpower for new states – the scope for international action',1959

  37. Robert Marjolin ‘The common market: From customs union to economic unity’, 1960

  38. R M Titmuss, ’Medical ethics and social change in developing countries’, 1962   

  39. Ralf Dahrendorf  ‘Conflict and Liberty – Remarks on the Social Structure of German Politics’, 1962 

  40. Asa Briggs, ‘Social Welfare Past and Present’, 1964

  41. D J Robertson, ‘A Nation of Regions?’, 1965

  42. Aubrey Jones, ‘Prices and Income Policy: reflections after the first six months’, 1965

  43. Sir Edward Boyle, ‘The place for educational expansion’, 1967

  44. Sir Eric Roll, ‘The uses and abuses of economics’, 1968

  45. Professor Kahn-Freund,  Industrial Relations and the Law: retrospect and prospect’, 1968

  46. Professor S Radzinowitz, 1971/2

  47. Professor James Meade, 1972/3

  48. The Right Honourable Richard Crossman ‘The Role of the Volunteer in the Modern Social Service’ 1973

  49. Tony Lynes, 1974/5

  50. Professor Edward Lipinski, 1975/6

  51. In 1983 there was a term of Sidney Ball lectures:

    Dr. Jane Aldgate ‘Social Work and Recession’

    David Donnison ‘The Prospects for Social Reform’

    Frank Field MP ‘Socialism and Freedom’

    Professor A. H. Halsey ‘The Social Services in Adversity – a Review’

    Dr. A. F. Heath ‘In Defence of Comprehensive Schools’

    Neville Johnson ‘The Changing Political Contours of the Welfare State’

    G. A. N. Smith ‘Innovation, Experiment and Research in Social Services’

  52. In 1988 there was a term of fortnightly Sidney Ball lectures at Barnett House:

    Jonathan Bradshaw, ‘European Demographic Trends and Their Implications for Social Policy’

    David Donnison, ‘Are ‘Rights’ an Essential Component of any Theory of Social Policy?’

    Robert Erikson, 'Does the Welfare State Make People Passive and Dependent? A Test Against the Swedish Experience'

    Graham Room, 'Poverty in the European Community: Trends and Responses'    

  53. Professor Partha Dasgupta, 'The Population Problem' 1993

  54. Professor Howard Glennerster, ‘Trans-Atlantic Influences in Social Policy’ 30 November 2000

    In 2007 the Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture series was reinstated as an annual event:

  55. Professor Neil Gilbert,  ‘The Opt-Out Revolution: Motherhood and Social Policy’, 23 April 2007

  56. Professor Paul Pierson, 'Winner-Take-All Politics: Policy and Inequality in the New American Political Economy’, 1 November 2007

  57. Professor Greg Duncan, 'Early Childhood Poverty and Adult Attainment', 26 February 2009

  58. Professor Gosta Esping-Andersen, 'Life Chances and Early Childhood Investments', 13 October 2010

  59. Professor Mark Lipsey, 'Evidence-based interventions in juvenile justice: Concept, research, practice, and frontiers', 9 November 2011

  60. Professor John Hills, 'The Reform of the Welfare State and the Dynamics of People's Lives', 31 October 2012

  61. Baroness Ruth Lister, 'Speaking truth to power: social policy in action', 4 December 2013

  62. Professor Tom Cooke, 'The Major Assumptions of Evidence-Based Policy: Bringing Empirical Evidence to Bear', 4 November 2014

  63. Dr Phyllis Solomon, 'Anti-Deinstitutionalization and Anti-Institutionalization for Persons with Severe Mental Illnesses: Finding Common Ground', 18 December 2015

  64. Professor Colin Crouch, 'Britain, Europe and Social Policy', 11 November 2016

     Professor David Spiegelhalter, 'Why should we have trust in numbers?', scheduled for 26 October 2017