Mill Hill Essays

The Mill Hill Essays were first published in 1995. Their main objective was to provide more detailed information on scientific issues that had recently been publicised in the popular media of newspapers and TV. They were written by NIMR scientists and formed an important aspect of our contacts with the local residents; we delivered them by hand through private letterboxes and in public houses. Copies were also distributed to local schools and, nationally, to university and other libraries, to decision-makers in Parliament and to opinion-formers in the media.

This short tradition was extended by making the essays available through the Institute website. Individual essays have had high numbers of downloads, while several of the volumes were selected for inclusion in Science magazine’s Netwatch column, and in the Internet Scout report listings of useful resources. The series as a whole has been highly-praised.

Sixteen volumes of the Mill Hill Essays were published between 1995 and 2013, and an anthology of some of the best essays was published in 2015.

From 1995-2000 the Essays were edited by Rod King and John Skehel. From 2001-2005 they were edited by Frank Norman and John Skehel. From 2008-2013 they were edited by Frank Norman and Jim Smith.

  • 1995 – seven essays (gene patenting, gene therapy, obesity, malaria, TB, spinal injury, muscles)
  • 1996 – five essays (memory, AIDS, risk, morphogens, MRI)
  • 1997 – six essays (cloning, GM food, Alzheimer’s, xenotransplantation, SAD, endosymbiosis)
  • 1998 – six essays (TB, ethics, influenza, consciousness, MMR vaccination, diabetes)
  • 1999 – seven essays (growth hormone, meningitis, health information, warts, multiple sclerosis, salmon anaemia, handedness)
  • 2000 – six essays (microbiology, frogs, immunology, neuroscience, influenza, malaria)
  • 2001 – five essays (transgenesis, stem cells, antimicrobial resistance, ageing, endosymbiosis)
  • 2002 – seven essays (drug addiction, limb development, Rosalind Franklin, TB, infertility, malaria, obesity)
  • 2003 – five essays (science and citizenship, Alexandre Yersin, genetics, molecular drug design, RNA interference)
  • 2004 – six essays (epigenetics, Drosophila, bacterial biofilms, self improvement, allergy and asthma, chemistry)
  • 2005 – five essays (African health, cancer, systems biology, heart disease, philanthropy)
  • 2008 – six essays (developmental biology, public health, statistical relevance, laboratory robotics, medical diagnosis, saviour siblings*)
  • 2009 – eight essays (ageing, tuberculosis, Peter Medawar, stem cell therapy, biological imaging, John Eccleston, apoptosis*, measles eradication*)
  • 2010 – seven essays (influenza, Zhores Medvedev and science in Russia, next-generation sequencing, Henrietta Lacks and cell lines, cot death, immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease, bone marrow*) and ten brief reviews of science books
  • 2011/2012 – six essays (olfactory system, vitamin D, immune signatures, antibodies, nanotechnology, genetic testing*) and seven brief reviews of science books
  • 2013 – six essays (cellular reprogramming, microbiota, Plasmodium knowlesi malaria, epigenetics, green fluorescent protein and imaging, hygiene hypothesis*) and four brief reviews of science books
  • Anthology – fourteen essays, mostly with short updates

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