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The Inaugural Spectacle Makers’ Lecture

Professor Russell Foster CBE delivers The Inaugural Spectacle Makers’ Lecture

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) this week embarked on a new educational initiative, with the first in a new series of lectures designed to bring the latest discoveries in vision science to the attention of the wider public.

The Inaugural Spectacle Makers’ Lecture was held at The Royal Society, internationally known for scientific discovery and the sharing of knowledge and founded, like the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, in the 17th Century.

The Master and Upper Warden with audience members

The lecture was delivered by Professor Russell Foster CBE, FRSB, FMedSci and a Fellow of the Royal Society itself. He is Head of Oxford University’s Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and founder of the Sleep and Circadian Research Institute. Professor Foster talked about his years of work establishing the principle of a direct link between vision, our internal awareness of space and time and the possible use of this knowledge for therapeutics, not just for people with severe sight impairment but also those with sleep disorders and neurological conditions.

Professor Foster has published over 290 scientific prizes and has won multiple international prizes for his work. In 2015 he was awarded the CBE for his services to Science and his much acclaimed, best-selling book “Lifetime: The New Science of the Body Clock and how it can revolutionise your sleep and health” is among the Financial Times’ Best Books of 2022.

The audience reflected the huge interest in Professor Foster’s work, with vision scientists, leading ophthalmologists, orthoptists and behavioural psychologists sitting alongside representatives from technology and space industries, military services and big pharma.  Equally important though was the willingness of Professor Foster to make his lecture available via livestream, so anyone can watch and learn how the key principles established follow through into clinical practice and general health.

Master of the Company, Nigel Haig-Brown, commented “We could not have hoped for a more eminent, or more stimulating, presenter for the Inaugural Spectacle Makers’ Lecture than Professor Russell Foster.

Further lectures are planned as the Company moves ever closer to its 400th Anniversary in 1629 and we look forward to building greater public awareness of the importance of the eye in the work of researchers of health and disease, and making discoveries in vision science accessible to the public.”

The lecture is available for catch-up viewing at Annual Spectacle Makers’ Lecture: Keeping an Eye on the Time – YouTube  {Highly recommended viewing and watch out for Russel Foster’s recently published book, ED}

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