Join us for Episode 8 of The Torch of Progress, with Anton Howes, historian-in-residence at Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture, and Commerce.
Key Discussion Points:
– What inspires and motivates inventors,
– Why England was already poised to lead the Industrial Revolution by 1650,
– What he learned writing his book Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation
Other Ways to Enjoy this Episode:
Podcast – The Torch of Progress, Ep. 8 with Anton Howes, available on Apple Podcasts
Transcript – The Torch of Progress, Ep. 8 with Anton Howes
About Guest Speaker Anton Howes:
“I am currently writing a book on why innovation accelerated in the eighteenth century in Britain, which in turn led to the Industrial Revolution. (You can read a summary of the book’s argument here). One of my key findings is that innovation is a practice that spreads from person to person. I argue that people became innovators because they adopted an improving mentality – and that Britain experienced an acceleration of innovation because its innovators were committed to evangelising that mentality further.
To stay updated on my research, sign up for my email newsletter, Age of Invention. For my past writing, check out my blog.
My first book, Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation, is out now from Princeton University Press. It tells the story of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce – essentially, Britain’s national improvement agency, in any and every way imaginable. I like to think of it as a hidden history of three centuries of social reform, from eighteenth-century coffee houses, to the schemes of Victorian utilitarian reformers, the early environmentalists of the mid-twentieth century, and much more. Frankly, it’s an organisation unlike any other. It’s available here (the publishers), here (Amazon UK), here (Amazon US), and from all good bookshops too!
In terms of roles, I am head of innovation research at The Entrepreneurs Network, a UK-based think tank focused on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. I am also historian-in-residence at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, having written its latest history. For two years I was also lecturer in Economic History at King’s College London, and before that a post-doctoral research associate at Brown University’s Political Theory Project. I received my PhD in Political Economy from King’s College London in 2016.” ~ antonhowes.com
Previously on The Torch of Progress:
- Episode 1 with Dr. Matt Bateman
- Episode 2 with Tyler Cowen
- Episode 3 with Patrick Collison
- Episode 4 with Dr. Max Roser
- Episode 5 with Deirdre Nansen McCloskey
- Episode 6 with Joel Mokyr
- Episode 7 with Noor Siddiqui
- Episode 9 with Danica Remy
- Episode 10 with Laura Mazer
- Episode 11 with Jerry Neumann
- Episode 12 with Adam Mosoff
Join the Next Cohort
Our guest speakers include experts on the history of science, technology, and industry, as well as those on the frontier. It’s open to all—sign up for our mailing list to get event invitations.