IAS Annual Report 2014-15 - page 27

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The IAS also provided sponsorship to other activities out with of
the annual theme, including
Seeing the Universe in All its Light
,
a unique roadshow featuring stunning images and hands-on
exhibits including ‘seeing the invisible’, ‘adaptive optics’ and
‘micro autonomous robots’. Led by IAS Director Professor
Martin Ward
, Temple Chevallier Chair of Astronomy, guests
were taken through the exhibition, and allowed the opportunity
to engage with the exhibits and ask questions from a leading
Durham astronomer.
Revisiting Intangible Heritage and the Social and Economic
Impacts of World Heritage
was organised by visiting IAS Fellow
and UNESCO consultant
Kai Weise
. The focus of this unique
workshop was to consider the ‘social and economic impacts
of heritage’ and ‘intangible heritage’. A wide range of speakers
took part including Professor
Kiran Fernandes
(Durham
University); Revd Canon
Rosalind Brown
(Durham Cathedral
and Chair of the Durham World Heritage Site Coordinating
Committee), Mr
Stephen Creigh-Tyte
(Durham University),
Professor
K. Krishnan
(University of Baroda);
Anouk Lafortune-
Bernard
(University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne); and Professor
Robin Coningham
(UNESCO Chair, Durham University). The
workshop was followed by a public lecture given by Kai Weise
entitled ‘Sharing experiences of managing World Heritage Sites
in Asia with Durham’.
The Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies (CNCS), a
collaboration of several universities in the North East, convened
a day long workshop,
Progress and Duration in the Long
Nineteenth Century
led by Dr
Tom Stammers
(History) and Dr
Julia Stapleton
(SGIA) in collaboration with Professor
Frances
Spalding
from the department of Art History at Newcastle
University.
The workshop examined the centrality of the idea of progress
to art, literature and thought in the nineteenth century and its
legacy today. It considered progress in the context of duration,
the temporal perspectives that shaped – and undermined -
the nineteenth-century belief in progress. Deliberately broad,
and designed to stimulate reflection on the ways in which
nineteenth-century observers speculated about the direction
in which human societies might be headed in light of the
enormous changes visible in their own epoch. The workshop
facilitated the opportunity to share ideas with scholars from
a broad range of disciplines and specialisms, with the aim of
establishing new relationships and knowledge exchange and
engagement. A goal of the event was also to consolidate the
reputation of the CNCS, and shed fresh light on a topic which
continues to underpin the field in subtle yet profound ways.
Philosopher Professor
Mary Midgely’s
keynote highlighted
the fallacies of progress that still shape the way the history of
science is written, and analysed the contrast between shallow
notions of progress and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Additional
talks were given by Professor
Greg Claeys
(Royal Holloway) who
highlighted how utopian and dystopian thinking were
co-dependent and co-constitutive, and stressed how the
seeds of much later twentieth-century despondency about
technology, bureaucracy and mass society was already visible
in the fin-de-siècleand. A final paper was given by early
career researcher Dr
Emily Robinson
(Sussex).
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