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2022: UN International Year of Glass

Wednesday 26th January 2022 the Glass Sellers were delighted to host its Annual Ravenscroft Lecture at the Middle Temple – the Speaker, Emeritus Professor John Parker.

John joined the University of Cambridge in 1964; he achieved a first-class MA in Natural Sciences, a PhD and for good measure added 2 years post-doctoral experience. He next moved to the department of Glass Technology at the University of Sheffield (1971-2009). His interests ranged from optical fibres, dental cements, defects in glass making to glass structure and optical absorption. Although now formally retired he still teaches in Sheffield and remains heavily involved in the Society of Glass Technology, as an Honorary Fellow. He is also an honorary member of the Deutsches Glastechnische Gesellshaft. For 21 years he was secretary of the International Commission on Glass Coordinating Technical Committee and still assists with their Winter (China) and Summer (France) Schools; he has received the ICG Turner Award and the ICG President’s Award. Recently he has had a major role in organising the 2022 UN International Year of Glass. He has published 200 books, technical articles, and reviews. As Curator of the Turner Museum of Glass, he frequently talks on the collection.

Ahead of the official opening in Geneva 9th to 11th February (which will be broadcast live) the Glass Sellers marked the start of the UK contribution to this Special Year with the Lecture entitiled:

The Age of Glass

With its unparalleled versatility and technical capabilities, glass in its many guises has fostered innumerable cultural and scientific advancements:

  • Glass is the main conduit for information in our knowledge-based society. Glass optical fibers have led to a global communications revolution; they are the backbone of the internet. Glassmakers have given us touch-sensitive covers for our mobile phones, revolutionizing the way we communicate.
  • Glass is the chemically resistant container material for many of today’s life-saving medicines and is playing its part in the world’s quest to deliver a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Strengthened glass containers have dramatically improved the reliability of the EpiPen treatment of life-threatening anaphylactic shock from severe allergic reactions.
  • Bioglass compositions have advanced health care with their ability to: integrate with human bone; stimulate the human body’s natural defense to heal flesh wounds; aid tissue design and regeneration; and resolve hearing and dental issues.
  • Glass sheets support solar cells and give clean energy; glass fibers reduce our carbon footprint by strengthening wind turbine blades, by insulating our homes and through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS); the vitrification of hazardous waste is making nuclear energy safer.
  • The evolution of glass optics and optoelectronics mean that the James Webb space telescope can study the first moments after the big bang and expand understanding of the Universe.
  • Glass melting is being de-carbonised and glassy products are being safely recycled.
  • Archaeologists are learning more about ancient trade routes and the politics of raw materials.
  • Glass artists across the globe have given humankind an awareness of this wonderful material including its remarkable methods of fabrication, inherent beauty, and ability to capture and display nature’s full spectrum of color.

To watch the Lecture delivered by Professor John Parker – CLICK ON THE PICTURE




For more details on the United Nations International Year of Glass 2022 go to: