skip to content
 

Forum 2019

The Forum was held on Tuesday 18th June 2019.  The afternoon programme included the award of the Armourers & Brasiers’ Materials Science Venture Prize and the 21st Kelly Lecture.   

Professor Yves Bréchet

Prof. Bréchet is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences. From 2012 to 2018, he was French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies. He is a professor at the Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP), and Scientific Director of the Saint Gobain company. 

Teaching science to politicians, the example of materials science: a hopeless but unavoidable challenge? 

Questions on energy, related to the growing concern about climate change, require both technical and scientific analysis, a systemic approach ― and very often materials science is key to discriminate between realism, dreams and nightmares.  In the end, however, decisions lie in the hands of politicians who have only a vague idea, if any, of the scientific and technical challenges to be overcome to bring their decisions from mere rhetoric to reality.  As scientists, as well as citizens, we are facing a triple challenge: to provide sound advice, to respect the legitimacy of political decision, and to teach science to politicians.  From my recent experience as a government advisor on energy issues, and from an historical analysis of the interactions between the political and the scientific spheres in France, the hopeless but unavoidable challenge of teaching science to politicians in the early stages of their career will be described and discussed.

 

Photos from the Forum

Promoting Materials Science to Industry and Academia

The Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum is held annually at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy in Cambridge with the aim of raising the profile of materials science in the UK academic and industrial communities, while being international in scope. The Forum attracts high-level involvement from industry, research councils and other influential bodies. It incorporates the Kelly Lecture and the Gordon Seminars, inaugurated in 1999 to mark the opening of the Gordon Laboratory in the Department. It is generously supported by the Armourers and Brasiers' Livery Company and nine other sponsors.