23 February - 20 April 2011

LUNÄ Talks

IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK

The Lunar Society’s members have been called the fathers of the Industrial Revolution. The importance of this particular Society stems from its pioneering work in experimental chemistry, physics, engineering, and medicine, combined with leadership in manufacturing and commerce, and with political and social ideals. Its members were brilliant representatives of the informal scientific web which cut across class, blending the inherited skills of craftsmen with the theoretical advances of scholars, a key factor in Britain's leap ahead of the rest of Europe. – Jenny Uglow 

Initiated by: Marjolijn Dijkman

Organised by: IKON Gallery

In collaboration with: The Lunar Society, Birmingham

Chaired by: Professor Mario Minichiello

Illustration of the original Luner Society in Birmingham

The series of LUNÄ Talks involves a panel of speakers addressing various issues including education, medicine and science, urban design and regeneration and heritage and the role of art in contemporary society.

23 February 2011: Current relations to the Lunar Society heritage with: Steve Bell, Dr. Malcolm Dick, Tom Freshwater, Prof. Paul Wells

9 March 2011: Current topics in Education with: Felicity Allen, Nancy Evans, Colin Gale, Kate Iles

6 April 2011: Current topics in Urban Design with: Clive Dutton, Tony Harvey, Ruth Reed, David Tittle

20 April 2011: Current topics in Medicine and Science with: Dr. James H Andrew, Deirdre Kelly, Chris Ramsden, Prof. Rex Harris

LUNÄ is a facsimile of the original table around which an influential group of industrialists, poets, inventors, doctors, writers, physicists, chemists and thinkers known as the Lunar Society met each month in Birmingham between 1765 and 1813. Members included James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley and Erasmus Darwin and they forged strong links with Bristol based contemporaries including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Beddoes.

The society was given its name by the monthly meeting of the members at full moon during which the participants discussed their latest research, with the aim of learning from each other and sometimes they would develop projects collaboratively or support each others projects.