Annual Invitation (Medal) Meetings

Since 1993, the Society has invited eminent scholars in the field to deliver a lecture, for which they can be awarded the Society Medal. These are usually held in London, in November. As a rule, the lectures are then published in the Bulletin.

In 2013, the Annual Medal Lecture was renamed the Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture, in honour of the late Gerard Turner, the Society’s first President and founding Chairman.

Lectures took place at the Society of Antiquaries unless otherwise noted.


12th Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture (8 November 2024, click here for details).

Previous Medal Lectures

2023 Bert Degenaar, ‘The Zuylenburgh Collection & the reminiscences of an antiques dealer’. Published as ‘Report of this Year’s Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture’, Willem Hackmann, published in SIS Bulletin 160 (March 2024), 2-8.
2022 Alison Morrison-Low, ‘Two Enlightenment collections of scientific instruments in Hanoverian Britain’, published in SIS Bulletin 156 (March 2023), 2-11.
2021 Simon Werrett, ‘The History of Scientific Instruments is Thriving’. Published as ‘A Thrifty History of Scientific Instruments’, published as ‘A Thrifty History of Scientific Instruments’ in SIS Bulletin 153 (June 2022), 2–6.
2020 Frank James, published as ‘Instruments from Scratch? Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday and the Construction of Knowledges’, SIS Bulletin 148 (March 2021), 2–13.
Due to the global pandemic, this event was hosted online.
2019 Nicolàs de Hilster, published as ‘Fakes, Replicas and Reconstructions: Their place in scientific research of early modern instruments’, SIS Bulletin 144 (March 2020), 2–11.
2018 Simon Schaffer, published as ‘Instruments and Ingenuity between India and Britain’, SIS Bulletin 140 (March 2019), 2–13.
2017 Silke Ackermann, published as ‘In the Service of Religion? Islamic Science in the Museum’, SIS Bulletin 139 (December 2018), 2–6.
2016 Emilie Savage-Smith, published as ‘Of Making Celestial Globes There Seems No End’, SIS Bulletin 132 (March 2017), 2–10.
2015 Peter de Clercq, published as ‘The Travel Journals of Balthasar de Monconys (1608–1665) and Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach (1683–1734)’, SIS Bulletin 128 (March 2016), 2–14.
2014 Stuart Talbot, published as ‘Shagreen and Fish-skin: On Scientific Instruments, their Cases and Etui – Circa 1700–1800’, SIS Bulletin 123 (December 2014), 10–27.
2013 Gloria C. Clifton, published as ‘British Scientific Instrument Makers 1851–1914’, SIS Bulletin 120 (March 2014), 2–11.
2012 Willem Hackmann, published as ‘Spectacular Science through the Magic Lantern’, SIS Bulletin 116 (March 2013), 30–41.
2011 Jeremy Collins, published as ‘Raiders of the Lost Archive: Sultan Murad III and All That!’, SIS Bulletin 113 (June 2012), 38–42.
2010 Liba Taub, published as ‘Collecting Challenges for the Future’, SIS Bulletin 110 (September 2011), 5–13.
2009 Mara Miniati, published as ‘From the Astrolabe to the Telescope: Scientific Marvels in Medicean Florence’, SIS Bulletin 104 (March 2010), 2–7.
2008 Jim Bennett, published as ‘Sundials and the Rise and Decline of Cosmography in the Long Sixteenth Century’, SIS Bulletin 101 (June 2009), 4–9.
2007 Deborah Jean Warner, published as ‘Scientific Instruments and Quality Control’, SIS Bulletin 96 (March 2008), 2–8.
2006 Willem Mörzer Bruyns, published as ‘The Navigating Instruments of the National Maritime Museum Greenwich: Research in Progress’, SIS Bulletin 92 (March 2007), 23–28.
2005 Paolo Brenni, published as ‘Artist and Engineer: The Saga of 19th Century French Precision Industry’, SIS Bulletin 91 (December 2006), 2–11.
2004 Anita McConnell, published as ‘Instrument Makers in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’, SIS Bulletin 84 (March 2005), 3–8.
2003 Michael Wright, published as ‘The Scholar, the Mechanic and the Antikythera Mechanism: complementary approaches to the study of an instrument’, SIS Bulletin 80 (March 2004), 4–11.
2002 Gerard Turner, published as ‘Scientific Instruments: Why?’, SIS Bulletin 76 (March 2003), 2–4.
2001 Michael Cooper, published as ‘From Graduations on Metal to Binary Biphase Modulation, or From Land and Hydrographic Surveying to Geomatics’, SIS Bulletin 72 (March 2002), 2–10.
2000 A.D. Baynes-Cope at the Linnaean Society, published as ‘A Scientist and Instruments’, SIS Bulletin 68 (March 2001), 6–9.
1999 John North, published as ‘The Astrolabe and the Imagination’, SIS Bulletin 64 (March 2000), 3–6.
1998 David Bryden at the Royal Institution, published as ‘From 16th century London to 19th century Philadelphia. A peregrination through three centuries of instrument advertising and ephemera’, SIS Bulletin 61 (June 1999), 4–10.
1997 Allan Chapman, published as ‘Gresham College: Scientific Instruments and the Advancement of Useful Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century England’, SIS Bulletin 56 (March 1998), 6–13.
1996 John Leopold at the Royal Institution, published as ‘Mechanical Globes circa 1500–1650’, SIS Bulletin 53 (June 1997), 5–8.
1995 John Heilbron at the Royal Institution, published as John L. Heilbron, ‘Churches as Scientific Instruments’, SIS Bulletin 48 (March 1996), 4–9.
1994 David King, published as ‘Making Instruments Talk: Some Medieval Astronomical Instruments and Their Secrets’, SIS Bulletin 44 (1995), 5–12.
1993 Robert Anderson, published as ‘People and Museums: Expectations and Responses’ (a brief report by Helen Turner), SIS Bulletin 40 (1994), p. 15.

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