The Impact of Glass
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,
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