Glaziers Hall near London Bridge was the venue for the 2021 Four Liveries Lecture that took place on Tuesday 7th September. The annual lecture alternates between four Worshipful Companies, namely Lightmongers, Glaziers, Scientific Instrument Makers and Clockmakers, who are linked by a common interest in science-based technologies
This year it was the turn of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (www.clockmakers.org) to host the lecture by Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group, who gave a thought-provoking, insightful and entertaining lecture on the challenges faced today by business leaders trying to run an organisation, especially one funded by the public purse.
Entitled ‘Where is the Centre of Gravity?’, Sir Ian shared his experiences on navigating through the choppy waters of the business environment today with the additional scrutiny and comment that social media brings. He advised caution in reacting too quickly to emotive campaigns and taking time to identify those of long-term strategic importance versus those that were loud but short-lived. His overarching message was that truth and evidence-based facts would prevail (evidence being his ‘Centre of Gravity’). He cited Ipsos Mori research showing that scientists enjoyed very high levels of trust among the public, in whom he has great faith in getting things right. He also highlighted books that he recommended as relevant reading, including: Outraged by Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles, Obliquity by John Kay and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Master Clockmaker, Mark H. Levy, our host for the evening, explained the origins of the strong link between the Clockmakers and the Science Museum that is now the home of its wonderful collection of timekeeping instruments built up over centuries and moved from Guildhall in 2015. You can find out more about the world’s oldest clock collection here. The Clockmakers’ Museum | Science Museum.
The Lecture was well attended by representatives from all four Livery Companies and concluded with a lively Q & A session followed by a drinks reception that provided an opportunity for informal discussions.
Master Clockmaker, Mark H. Levy, in conversation with Sir Ian Blatchford at the Q&A session.
After a short and lively question and answer session, including a challenging question for Sir Ian about sponsorship of the Science Museum by a Company whose business is built around extraction of fossil fuels, guests enjoyed a glass of wine while watching daylight fade over the river Thames.
Clerk Emeritus, Phill Hyde, Guest, John Haworth, Master, Revd Peter Harris, Junior Warden, Jamie Berry, Lightmonger Alptekin Tanriverdi, Past Master, Eddie Taylor enjoy a debrief conversation after the lecture at Glazier’s Hall.
A recording of the lecture, well worth a listen, is available to view on the website of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.
In 2022 it will be the turn of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers to host the Four Liveries Lecture and planning is currently underway.