Those who were before us are not our masters but our leaders. Truth lies open to all. It is not yet anyone’s possession. Much of it is left, even for those to come. Nothing, indeed, is more hostile to truth than to take away freedom of speculation.

The above is a translated extract from the medical pamphlet Famosa Apologia by seventeenth-century medical writer Theodor Turquet de Mayerne. Contained within it is Lancaster University's motto, "Patet omnibus veritas," translated as "Truth lies open to all" (p. 36, McClintock, 1974).


Spineless is a student publication that is independent of Lancaster University and Lancaster University Students' Union.

Ethics and Complaints

All our writers strive to abide by the principals contained in the NUJ Code of Conduct and the IPSO Editors' Code of Practice. If you have a concern about our conduct or any of the content we have published, please raise it with our Editorial Team via


Spineless is just one of many publications in a long and admirable line of independent journalism at Lancaster University. We follow in the footsteps of the likes of subtext, Inkytext, and John O'Gauntlet. We aren't the first Spineless at Lancaster either - a short-lived publication of the same name existed in 2007 (Issue 21, subtext).

Spineless began during the November/December 2019 UCU strike as a strike bulletin in physical form, handed out on the picket line. We launched our website in January 2020, but returned to strike bulletin format during the February/March 2020 UCU strike. Stories we have broken in Spineless have been widely picked up, including in The Times and Private Eye.

In August 2020, we announced that we would change our focus away from reactive news and comment and towards more long-form and investigative content. In September, we joined the national Student Publication Association as a member publication.

We have been lauded, condemned, and everything in between as we attempt to introduce a canon of critical student reportage to Bailrigg.

Our Supporters and Detractors

We cover some choice comments about our publication in our Letters series, the first one of which can be read here.