Ian Blatchford

The Art of Innovation
  • The Art of Innovation

  • The perfect gift for curious minds this Christmas.

    This illustrated modern history of the connections between science and art reveals a new perspective on what that relationship has contributed to the world around us, based on the landmark Radio 4 series, and Science Museum exhibition.

    Throughout history, artists and scientists have been driven by curiosity and the desire to experiment. Both have wanted to make sense of the world around them, often to change it, sometimes working closely together, certainly taking inspiration from each other’s disciplines. The relationship between the two has traditionally been perceived as one of love and hate, fascination and revulsion, symbiotic but antagonistic. But art is crucial to helping us understand our science legacy and science is well served by applying an artistic lens. How exactly has the ingenuity of science and technology been incorporated into artistic expression? And how has creative practice, in turn, stimulated innovation and technological change?

    The Art of Innovation is a history of the past 250 years viewed through the disciplines of art and science. Through fascinating stories that explore the sometimes unexpected relationships between famous artworks and significant scientific and technological objects – from Constable’s cloudscapes and the chemist who first measured changes in air pressure, to the introduction of photography and the representation of natural history in print – it offers a new way of seeing, studying and interpreting the extraordinary world around us.

Sir Ian Blatchford is Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group and Director of the Science Museum in London. Previously Ian was Deputy Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He started his career in the City, working at the Bank of England and the merchant bankers Barclays de Zoete Wedd, before joining the Arts Council, where he was Deputy Finance Director. He then joined the marketing and design agency Cricket Communications as Financial Controller before becoming Director of Finance at the Royal Academy of Arts. Ian read law at Mansfield College, Oxford and holds an MA in Renaissance studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Currently Ian is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Member of the Athenaeum. He was awarded the Pushkin Medal in 2015. In April 2017 Ian became Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council. Dr Tilly Blyth is the Head of Collections and Principal Curator at the Science Museum in London, where she is responsible for the museum's Curatorial, Research, Library and Archives departments. The team have delivered award winning galleries exhibitions in subjects as diverse as Mathematics, Robots, Cosmonauts: the Russian Space story and Illuminating India: 500 years of science and technology. Tilly was Lead Curator of the Information Age gallery, which explored 200 years of information and communication networks and how they have transformed the world. Tilly studied Physics at the University of Manchester before migrating towards the social sciences, with a MSc in Science Policy and a PhD in the History and Sociology of Technology. Her particular research interest is in the history of computing, and women’s roles in the development of the computing industry. Tilly is a member of BAFTA and a trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which aims to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.