Welcome to The Master’s Blog for the first Quarter of 2021
The last twelve months have been an extraordinary and testing year by anyone’s imagination!
However, as we all head towards what is almost an entire year of being based at home, it shows the resilience and resourcefulness of our members, at the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, that we have so many interesting events and activities, which we can look back to and enjoy remember, as well as to be proud of.
Our SIM on-line activities have gone from strength to strength, and now include every aspect of our Company business and especially our Charity activities.
The full structured schedule of our Committee and Management meetings have been adopted to Virtual meetings formats. These new formats will continue to be used in the future, even after the new normal returns. It has been clearly shown that attendance is now more inclusive, in particular for our members, who in the past could not always travel, due to health or location, but who can now fully participate.
The Company has been holding regular Admissions Court Ceremonies, on-line, to allow new Apprentices, Freemen and Members to join SIM and become part of our growing Company and networks. All candidates have half an hour each, which allows for the ceremony, as well as plenty of time to chat and discuss how best SIM can support every new applicant as well as introduce them to other members.
SIM’s successful quarterly webinar programme has really developed well from our first event late last year about The Air Quality in Our Cities. This was presented by Dr John Saffell and included the lessons which we can learn from the drops in lock-down pollution levels. John explained it all, as well fielding a lively Q&A session afterwards. John Saffell, is a SIM Member who has been developing and manufacturing sensors for air quality monitoring since 2007.
Our second webinar was held on Thursday 25 February, to a record audience in excess of two-hundred guests, which was a fascinating presentation about the Disappearance of a Malaysian Airways flight by liveryman Ian Gilbert. Flight MH370 went missing on 08 March 2014 and Ian’s in-depth knowledge of all things avionic plus his analysis of how this could possibly have happened was excellent. Ian has worked in aerospace and avionics since 1967 and remains active today as a technical consultant on instrumentation, recording and the analysis of flight data.
The third SIM webinar, will be a retrospective look at COVID and the effects which it has had on the world, by Professor Philip Thomas, our Junior Warden. This will be broadcast on Thursday 27 May. Philip has published many articles on COVID, some of which you will find linked to this website, and with his expertise on risk analysis, this is going to be another must see event.
SIM has shared links with other related organisations, such as the Foundation of Science and Technology, the Honourable Air Pilots, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, The Worshipful Company of Engineers, so that their members can also enjoy these SIM events. As a result, SIM members are now being invited to attend fascinating webinars by these companies.
Another success was our Education Trust Networking Event held in February. Usually this is combined with a reception plus dinner allowing everyone to network and make new useful contacts. As we were unable to meet at Hall this year, we made the most of things and laid on a successful virtual networking event at which Apprentices, Scholars, Freeman and Liverymen came together via the power of Zoom.
Following a welcome and an introduction, the Education Trust Networking programme, included break out forums, which were hosted by four SIM Member as facilitators. I am very grateful to all of them for giving up their time to support this important event. They each encouraged lively discussions and engagement on the following wide range of topics:
1. Beyond Covid-19: The Future of Work – facilitated by Jessica Leigh Jones MBE
2. Entrepreneurial/Business Development – facilitated by Roger Goldsborough
3. COVID the disease, and how it should be modelled – facilitated by Professor Philip Thomas
4. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – facilitated by Ian Gilbert
5. University Representatives discussions on building closer SIM links – facilitated by Professor Hugh McCann
Although the Government’s latest ‘COVID Roadmap’ has turned the light on at the end of the tunnel, the possibility of face-to-face meetings is still going to be delayed for the months to come, so do look out for more on-line events from SIM which will engage and inform our members.
The next up is our Annual Minerva Lecture and this year it is going to be a real treat. Put Thursday 11 March in your diaries to listen to science royalty, Sir James Hough, who is one of the world’s leading experts on Gravitational Waves. The ‘gravitational analogy of radio waves’ was predicted by Einstein in his Theory of Relativity, and was confirmed over forty years later by Sir Jim and his colleagues. Check the News section at www.wcsim.co.uk for details and keep your eye on the SIM Calendar to ensure you do not miss this and forthcoming events.
And of course, we all want more, so despite the lock-down, we are going ahead with the 2021 SIMposium on Monday 19 April, starting at 10.00, to showcase all the latest advances in technology, being developed by our Freemen, Scholars and Members. With a morning session, lunch break, and afternoon session, we will include ten really inspiring talks on future science, skills and knowledge. Do ensure that you log-in to this exciting SIMposium event.
Another event not to miss will be the SIM Cheese & Wine Tasting planned on Thursday 29 April. Some of us tried out a similar event organised by The Worshipful Glaziers and we liked it so much we wanted to share this wonderful format with you all. Our evening will include delicious Italian wines and cheeses and the proceedings will be guided by an expert from www.lovecheese.co.uk, who really know their stuff, and create a fun evening. Get booked in!
So, the last quarter has been very busy, plus our planning and preparations mean, that the next three months will be even busier! I would like to thank everyone in SIM who has contributed to so many recent activities and events. Your continued hard work, make this company what it is and enables us to collectively help many others, whether they be Apprentices, Scholars, Freemen, Members, or other organisations which benefit from our support and charity.
I would especially like to thank Misha and Karen for their continued assistance and inventiveness, which evolves the way we work, plus organise, and stay in-touch with all our SIM members.
[Created 26/02/21 – MEW]