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Lunar Society event celebrates innovation in Stoke & Staffordshire
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Lunar Society event celebrates innovation in Stoke & Staffordshire

One of the 18th Century’s most influential gatherings of scientists, industrialists and thinkers, the Lunar Society, is coming back to Stoke-on-Trent.

The Lunar Society was formed by some of Britain’s greatest minds 250 years ago. Stoke-on-Trent’s  Josiah Wedgwood was a vital founder member and regularly took his turn as host for the full moon meetings of this scientific and progressive movement. Now, tradition is being reinstated in recognition of Stoke-on-Trent’s growing position as a resurgent economic force and a new creative centre.

The Society’s annual Boulton and Watt Lecture is coming to Stoke Minster on Thursday 15th December, from 10am. The lecture is free, and everyone is welcome, but to help the organisers please register your name, contact, and numbers of places required at

 Two celebrated speakers with a modern take on the Enlightenment will tackle “Industrial Revolution – Stoke-on-Trent’s Past, Present and Future.”

The event has been organised by the Lunar Society and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and sponsored by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and the city’s  advanced materials research world leader Lucideon.

First at the podium will be politician, historian and author Tristram Hunt MP – who will look at the origins of Stoke-on-Trent and its role in the industrial revolution. “Stoke-on-Trent and its people have played a critical role in the massive industrial forces, the materials and the ideas that have forged the modern world,” he said.

Then top international academic and TV scientist Mark Miodownik , Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, will look to the future. “I will look fifty years into the future of materials science to assess the possible technical advances and their impact on engineering, society and culture. I’ll be looking at the big issues: sustainable cities, energy security, food and healthcare. What will we need to do and will we continue to adapt and innovate?” he said.

Lunar Society Chairman Alan Wenban-Smith said members were excited by the Stoke-on-Trent connection. “The Society was formed by some of the key figures of the industrial revolution, 250 years ago. They transformed the world beyond all recognition –pioneering the scientific and technological progress that underpins all our lives today,” he said. “Stoke-on-Trent really seems to be firing up its creative energies again. It is a city resurgent and we are really looking forward to meeting some of the city’s leading lights in enterprise, science and the arts.”

City Council Deputy Leader Abi Brown said she was delighted to welcome the Lunar Society back to one of its natural homes.

“This city has an illustrious past and a great tradition of innovation and enterprise. That spirit is alive and well and burning bright. The Lunar Society have taken an interest in our resurgence and the fact they want us on board is a real sign that this city is on the up once more,” she said.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “This event is a great opportunity to celebrate Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s pioneering role in the industrial revolution, and our area’s continuing appetite for enterprise and innovation.

“The LEP and its partners are working hard to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce for the innovative industrial sectors of the 21st century, creating more and better jobs for local people.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Sara Williams said the Lunar Society had at its core the enlightened business people searching for new ways of doing things in partnership with each other and with tremendous loyalty to their areas.

“This sums up still the ethos and character of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce – so we are delighted to support the reintegration of the Society into the outward looking business community and to build a brighter future for enterprise and the people of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire,” she said,

Tony Kinsella, Chief Executive of Lucideo,n said Stoke-on Trent has an unbeatable history in the transformation of materials for Industry.

“From coal for fuel for ceramics and steel, from clay for bricks and ceramic wares this city region has been at the centre of invention – Wedgwood himself inventing Pyrometry – the measurement of temperature indirectly.  It is fitting that the Lunar society looks back – and to the future – where Lucideon, and AMRICC –will continue and indeed accelerate our position in the world of materials for Stoke, Staffordshire, the UK and the world,” he said.