The Impact of Glass

Rainbow-Prism This lecture examines the astonishing impact of glass on both our lives and those of our ancestors. It is my fervent contention that glass is the greatest substance ever created and yet it remains largely invisible to us, in more ways than one.

The talk explores the catalytic effect that glass has had across the range of human endeavour since the Renaissance: through science, medicine and technology to architecture, travel and communications.

Where, for instance, would be without spectacles, light bulbs and windscreens? How many of us would be alive if it were not for the identification of germs and microbes through the use of microscope lenses? And how pleasurable would life be without window glass and loft insulation? Without glass, we would have no computers, televisions, films, telephones...

Glass is a magical substance whose role in transforming our lives is both immeasurable and almost entirely unrecognised. This talk attempts to put this omission to rights.