The panel discussion was chaired by Professor Alexandra Warwick, Head of Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Westminster, who was joined by Dr Daemmrich; Tricia Edwards, Head of Education at the Lemelson Center; Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London; and Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy and Research at Nesta. The panel discussed what innovation was, the future of innovation and how young people can be inspired to innovate. The conversation was joined by the audience including Westminster staff, students, alumni and representatives from a wide range of public and cultural bodies such as the Royal Society of Arts, the Science Museum, the National Gallery, the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Museum of London, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Imperial War Museum, the British Library and the City of London Corporation.
The discussion was followed by a reception where Westminster students, staff and alumni had the opportunity for further discussions with the high-profile guests.
The public forum was the highlight of a week-long visit of the Smithsonian delegation and Johns Hopkins colleagues to the UK organised by Alan Morrison, Coordinator of the Smithsonian-Westminster Colloquium and Principal Research Fellow at the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Robert Kargon, Professor of History of Science, and Dr Sarah Chicone, Assistant Director of Museum Studies MA, both from Johns Hopkins University; Dr Peter Jakab, Chief Curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; and Dr Arthur Molella, Director Emeritus of the Lemelson Center were all participants in the programme.
The programme, in addition to the public forum, included visits to the University’s Archives and the recently reopened historic Regent Street Cinema, a round table discussion on interdisciplinarity, and a workshop with London headteachers and museum educationalists on the Lemelson Center’s young people’s Spark!Lab invention facility.