Salters’ Annual Lecture with John Simpson CBE

Earlier this month, the Salters’ Company held its second Annual Lecture, welcoming John Simpson CBE to deliver his address ‘Ancient institutions and lessons from current affairs’. The Annual Lecture aims to contextualise the Salters’ Company’s place and contribution within a wider national and global context, whether that be historical, economical, scientific, artistic or cultural. Isabella Ewell, a Salters’ Outreach Ambassador, reflects on her experience at this year’s lecture:

The Salters’ Company had the privilege of hosting John Simpson CBE as our keynote speaker for the 2023 Annual Lecture. Mr Simpson thrilled us with tales spanning his 50-year career as a foreign correspondent for the BBC. Having travelled to over 120 countries, Mr Simpson had incredible stories about the people and places he had encountered. My personal favourite was his account of dining with Nelson Mandela. He described the former South African President’s ability to make you feel like the only person in the world who he was interested in speaking with. Mr Simpson’s openness led us all through an honest conversation about the different types of situations he has faced throughout his career.

Mr Simpson’s presentation was not the only delight on offer, as it was a night full of conversation with people connected to the Salters’ Company. As an Outreach Ambassador, it was insightful to speak with members of the Company, whose families had historically been involved in the salt trade, or who now work in the chemical industries. I gained a better understanding of the origins of their flagship charity, the Salters’ Institute, and the role of the Company in promoting chemistry and science education across the UK.

John Simpson CBE addressing guests of the second Salters’ Annual Lecture.