Celebrating 70 years of Humanities at Imperial College London

Posted on Feb 20, 2020 in News

Imperial College London is world-renowned for its research and education in science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine and business. It is perhaps less well known that the humanities have a long and fascinating history at Imperial: for 70 years, the arts, humanities and social sciences have enriched the cultural and intellectual life of Imperial’s staff and students, and contributed to the vibrant environment of Albertopolis. 

2020 marks the 70th anniversary of humanities at Imperial, which started with the “Touchstone Weekends” at our Silwood Park campus, near Windsor, on 11 March 1950. In a large country house there, the then Rector, Sir Roderic Hill started a series of weekend gatherings whose aim was to discuss “the relation of liberal studies to our science and technology”. He also introduced the music recitals and arts lectures still held at lunch times at South Kensington Campus.

Throughout 2020, we will be celebrating this major milestone with a year-long programme of events that will explore the rich and diverse history of humanities at the College, and showcase the wide variety of activities taking place today. We also look at the future, reflecting on the importance of humanities and the arts in a STEMM education, on their contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of College and for the wider community around us.

The [email protected] programme will include, among other events, a music symposium, a special exhibition in the main foyer, an environmental science lecture and a concert open to all. I very much hope that many of you will join us to explore a rather different side of Imperial College London. You might be surprised (and, I dare hope, delighted) to discover the many ways in which the humanities add to the intellectual, social and artistic life of Imperial staff and students and of the wider community by contributing to our societal engagement mission and outreach work.

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