Transparency and the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap has been much in the news with the revelations about the pay of the BBC’s superstars. Whatever you may feel about the level of remuneration for Chris Evans compared with Andrew Marr, whether you believe one is worth more or less than the other, I think it is clear there is little transparency in the process by which the ‘correct’ level of pay has been arrived at. Why should Emma Maitlis not even make it into the top tier – is it because of her gender, because she hasn’t argued persuasively enough for high levels of pay or because it has been denied? On her in particular there seems a lot of uncertainty, with her contract currently being negotiated. But other obvious stars, such as Mishal Husain, sit lower than might have been expected – does ethnicity come into play as well as gender? We have no idea about this, but each of us could look through the BBC’s list and draw up their own list of queries and cries of astonishment.

Universities are not exempt from the new requirement reporting on the gender pay gap. Some, a few, have already been publishing their Equal Pay Review. Cambridge has since 2008, although not every year (it usually publishes them in alternate years, even though the data is collected each year). Furthermore, it has not only published this, it has had review groups analysing the data and trying to establish the source of the problem and what might and should be done. (I was involved for a number of years, exploring KPIs and the questions lurking behind the figures.)

In absolute terms Cambridge is clearly not without its own issues, although it isn’t in the top 10 offenders currently for professorial salaries according to the THE. Where it does fall down is for average academic pay across all grades. Although I am no longer involved in the group that does the scrutiny, I would assume this large average gap in Cambridge reflects the fact there are as yet fewer women in the top grades. ‘Grade segregation’ also affects the averages across all grades of staff. For academics, every year this separate discrepancy is diminishing and, more importantly, great attention is paid to success rates at promotion to make sure that women are indeed moving up through the grades fairly. I would like to think, albeit progress is slow, we are on a steady path in my university to pay equality.

The trouble with the crude gender pay gap figures is that they hide so many competing factors. Uneven distribution of men and women across grades is just one such ‘hidden variable’. Others include the differences at the top where ‘market supplements’, or bonus payments or some other set of weasel words obscures the fact that those who threaten to leave an institution may get a top-up which isn’t always published. So in these higher echelons, published data may not actually mean a great deal. Too often such top-ups go to those who are more demanding, but some folk never think to ask for additional pay to keep them loyal. Add in the fact that, stereotypically at least, women are less mobile than men making it hard for them to threaten to leave and immediately there is another factor which can exacerbate gender differentials: they aren’t able to negotiate high salaries at a new institution requiring a counter bid from the host institution.

This is not new territory. It needs constantly to be monitored, discussed, scrutinised and remedial measures taken.

Other topics around university pay have found their way into the mainstream media in the last week or two. I find the way some of these stories have been reported, and the comments non-academics have made, fairly surprising and upon occasion infuriating and even ignorant. Both Lord Adonis and Jo Johnson have been weighing in on the subject of VC’s pay. Lord Adonis chose to single out Glynis Breakwell at Bath as his figure of hate, given that she is the highest paid of all the vice-chancellors. Jo Johnson seems to have preferred to talk in more general terms. The unit of pay deemed reasonable for comparator terms in their eyes is the PM’s pay. So the fact the Bath VC earns more than three times May’s salary is thought to be unreasonable. (Interestingly, no one has commented that both these are women; nor have I seen the gender pay gap for VCs, if any such there is, discussed.) Added to this Adonis made some ill-informed comments about the (lack of) work academics do over the summer, which I felt moved to dissect earlier this week elsewhere. He seemed to forget that MPs – of which he was one once – have a long summer recess, at least as long as any academic’s break and no doubt equally used to catch up with all the work the rest of the year makes impossible.

Adonis’ criticism of Glynis Breakwell also seemed to overlook the behaviour of some MPs. He pointed out that she additionally held three non-executive directorships, for which she also got paid. I do wonder how many MPs, not to mention peers, also hold non-executive directorships with accompanying supplementary cash. It is clear that for some of them they even get cosy with companies whilst MPs – possibly assisting with relevant legislation –  and then line up remunerative employment thereafter. I really don’t think this is an improvement on the VC saga at all, but I never saw this picked up or Adonis called out on the obvious parallels.

I am not saying there is no case for restraint in pay at the top and that Jo Johnson is not right to call for such constraint. But, by and large I would guess academic pay is no less transparent than the BBCs, or MPs who have further roles on the side or indeed just about any senior executives in any sector.  What someone is worth is a question many people don’t want to contemplate. They may choose to answer instead with ‘what can we get away with paying this person?’ Those who are cantankerous, or persuasive in argument, or have some sway over the remuneration committee will do rather better than the person who just meekly accepts the offer that lands on their desk.

If we are to remove the pay gap we are going to have to face up to the fact that the way to remove it is not to teach women how to negotiate. This is standard, deficit mode thinking. We should not be fixing the women but the system.

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Are Things Getting Better for Postdocs in Cambridge?

As a recent article in Nature pointed out, housing costs in Cambridge are a significant issue for new recruits to the university. As a city it suffers both from its proximity to London – well within commuter belt, as the busyness of the peak time trains attest – and from sitting at the centre of the thriving Cambridge cluster. It isn’t only the university as an employer that brings numerous early career professionals (not just researchers) to the city. There are many research institutes around the city, as well as the hi-tech cluster (for instance ARM, not to mention all the companies on the various science parks), plus the imminent arrival of Astra Zeneca, all pushing up both house prices and rental costs. Life as a postdoc – or a new staff member – is not easy or cheap.

The University is doing what it can to alleviate some of these problems through the development of the huge North West Cambridge development, now known as Eddington. The first phase is nearing completion and some occupants have already moved in. Eligible key workers from the University (staff at the low end of the payscales and postdocs) are able to apply for accommodation with a rent capped on average at a third of income. So far the University has invested £350 million into this development. In the autumn a new space for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs  (OPdA) will open; the primary school is already open and currently has an intake of three years of children and, to the delight of Churchill College inhabitants such as myself and others living to the west of the city, finally a supermarket will be opening next month as part of this development. Other elements of infrastructure – such as a hotel and a doctor’s surgery– will be opened in due course. Much more information can be found here: I don’t intend to reiterate public information. The image shows a photo I took of the site from a rather perilous roof (or at least the ladder to the roof was fairly perilous) last autumn, to give an indication of the scale of the enterprise. The site stretches, for those familiar with Cambridge, from the Madingley Road to Huntingdon Road running roughly parallel to the M11, although the northern end will only be completed in later phases.

NWC

The commitment to purpose-built space, including workspace, a meeting room and break-out rooms, for the OPdA represents a recognition of the importance of this part of the community to the whole research endeavour across Cambridge. OPdA itself is quite young, only around four years, but offers much to support the enormous community of such researchers working across the city (several thousand). Currently OPdA occupies two sites: in the centre of town and on the ever-expanding Biomedical Campus around Addenbrookes Hospital. The new dedicated space in Eddington will replace the centre-of-town location.

Postdocs, for so long valued (one hopes!) by their supervisors but rarely able (unless home-grown talent) to participate fully in Collegiate Cambridge, are seeing a much more inclusive environment develop. Many colleges, my own included, now offer various forms of postdoctoral membership. Churchill awards around 10 postdoctoral by-fellowships a year, following a fairly simple application process. They allow postdocs full membership of the SCR, entitlement to some free meals at high table, access to sports and music facilities and many opportunities to participate in the academic and social life of the College. Not all take full advantage of this; some, one fears, only want the by-fellowship so that it looks good on their CV. One thing I personally am particularly enjoying is a new series of so-called ‘post-prandial’ talks midway through each term by one of the postdoc by-fellows, to complement fellows’ post-prandial talks at the start and end of each term.

Post-prandial talks can be a bit of an ordeal, as I know from personal experience. As part of the interview process to become Master of Churchill I was required to give such a talk at the end of a long session of meetings across the college site, which had been designed to give me a feel for the college, followed by a high table dinner. (The formal interview came the next morning.) This meant I was expected to make small talk over dinner whilst retaining the strength of mind to decline the wine proffered – which might have helped the nerves but not the diction of my presentation. And then, when everyone else was feeling ‘jolly’ and full of food and alcohol, I needed to maintain their interest through a talk about my research suitable for the expert as well as the novice in my field: that was a challenge I hope I don’t ever have to face up to again. I trust for the postdocs who volunteer to give post-prandial talks the pressure is a great deal less than I faced! Certainly, the ones I’ve heard have been pitched excellently for a general audience even when the talk’s topic may be pretty technical. Speakiing to such an audience – be they fellow Fellows or the general public – is of course a skill to be mastered and valued. In the College the talks are sure to be greeted by extensive, interested (even if perhaps on occasion naïve) questions.

I digress from NW Cambridge, but that’s because I think the way the University and its colleges are moving to support our postdoctoral community is so important. There are other attributes of the new development that I find personally very exciting. I will cover just one. I mentioned a primary school. What is so remarkable about this (about from its innovative circular design) is that it can be used as a testbed for educational research by the University’s Faculty of Education. It is the first Primary level University training school, and as such collaborates with a number of partners in order to contribute to the growing research underpinning primary education. Evidence about what works in education is so important, yet often lacking. The school itself uses research-informed teaching practices and aspires to be a hub of learning for adults as well as children.

Anyone who has visited Cambridge recently will know just how much the city is expanding, and not just on this northwest side. The biomedical campus on the south of the city is growing rapidly, and nearby the new suburb of Great Kneighton seems to be nearing completion between Addenbrookes and Trumpington. I have watched these developments mushroom as I pass by on the train, but have not yet explored the new complex of roads and houses, plus a pond or two no doubt designed to accommodate the drainage from the site. But our infrastructure is creaking. Our roads, our trains, our station – even now Cambridge North has opened – barely cope. It only takes one broken down lorry, or one new hole in the road to be dug, for everything to grind to a halt on the roads. Success has its price in the fens. Cambridge is a wonderful university city, but its achievements mean that it is expensive to live in and not always comfortable – for postdocs or for anyone else.

 

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The Importance of Finding Nothing Out

‘Melts in the mouth, not in the hand’: so said a chocolate advertisement from my youth for the predecessor of Minstrels (a discontinued brand called Treets). Melting temperature is of course an important consideration when it comes to the elegance of stuffing your mouth full of chocolate, and chocolate-making is a science as well as an artisanal art (judging by the incredibly expensive chocolate shops that are now springing up on our high streets). And it is the science of chocolate melting that Brian Cox is exploring in this neat video produced by the Royal Society to inspire children with an interest in science – not to mention to drill home the meaning of the ‘fair test’ beloved of school curricula. There is no doubt that it is an experiment likely to maintain children’s interest (do they get to eat the chocolate at the end of the experiment?), and it should teach them some useful concepts – even if not about the chocolate itself. The video says nothing about the difference in ingredients between dark, milk and white chocolate or why this might impact on the melting behaviour, or indeed its overall mouthfeel.

Chocolate may seem an odd topic for research but – as the advertising slogan above makes clear – getting the formulation right for physical properties as well as taste really does matter. It was a material I once studied using all the power of an X-ray synchrotron source to explore the internal packing of the triglycerides and how this changed during melting. If the triglycerides form the wrong crystal structure (a different so-called polymorph) then it is perceived as possessing the unattractive ‘bloom’ that dulls the surface of chocolate, usually occurring as a result of the chocolate being stored at too high a temperature. Different sources of the cocoa butter that is the key ingredient in chocolate have different proportions of the various triglycerides, each of which have their own melting temperature. And cheap chocolate has other ingredients added to mimic the same ‘mouthfeel’ response with inexpensive substitutes, thereby ending up with a chocolate that usually doesn’t taste anything like as nice.

However the aim of this post is not to give you a lesson in triglyceride physics and chemistry (there’s a little more of that in this piece I wrote for the Guardian), but to highlight an often overlooked aspect of research: null results. The particular problem we were looking at was a comparison of chocolate produced via the normal processing route, which involved temperatures somewhat above room temperature, with chocolate produced by ‘cold extrusion’, a process invented by Malcolm Mackley in the University of Cambridge’s Chemical Engineering Department. My student dutifully took many physical measurements to compare the end results of these two processes: melting, crystal structure, appearance in the electron microscope….I forget all the things she tried. Not a single difference did our physical measurements show up. We knew they were different: cold extruded chocolate could be shaped, wires looped for instance, whereas normal chocolate could not be so manipulated. Yet we found nothing, zilch, zero to report. All tests showed the two samples seemed exactly the same.

I won’t say this was good for my student’s morale, but there were plenty of (null) data to turn into a thesis. We did some studies on model systems for good measure. Actually those were to try out some possible ideas which might have fed into the full messy world of chocolate, but they provided solid, novel if unhelpful data. At the end of the day the student sailed through her viva. She had done original work and written it up thoroughly and rigorously, even if she hadn’t been able to solve the problem posed. But she had been able to rule out quite a large number of potential differences. It is helpful to remember that null results are important too.

However, there is bound to be a however, had she wanted to pursue an academic career she wouldn’t have got very far with not a single publishable paper out of her thesis. Luckily it was always clear she did not want to go that route and took her skills into management consulting where she clearly thrived. Had she been a determined wannabe academic I probably would have diverted her thesis work to something else early on to be sure she could pursue her dreams. At least with hindsight I hope that is the case, although the sponsor might have been unenthusiastic. (It wouldn’t have been the first time I modified a sponsor’s project on good scientific grounds).

There is another point I’d like to make about chocolate physics: that physics can indeed be done on such a material (even if not always very productively). That science is pervasive amongst the most common objects is something people may overlook in the belief that physics (perhaps more than other subject) is pigeonholed only to be concerned with the exotic and exciting not the everyday. Examples could include the Higgs Boson or the mysteries of black holes, but chocolate  – or starch, or shampoo or paint or any of the other things we are daily surrounded by – is perceived by many physicists and lay-people as ‘not suitable for physicists’. I talked a bit about this challenge in my recent Guardian podcast with Hannah Devlin . In the past I have spent an entire dinner failing to convince Andrew Cohen, head of the BBC Science Unit, that the public might be interested in things which they didn’t find mysterious. He told me the viewer wanted to be mystified; I disagree.

Food is not only an interesting topic of research, but also big business. To quote from a recent email I received from the Institute of Physics about the launch of a new Food Manufacturing Group

Food Manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK employing more than 400000 people and supporting nearly 3 million further jobs across the whole supply chain and directly contributing £28 billion in GVA to the UK economy.

Physics is critically important to supporting the Food Manufacturing Sector in addressing the challenges it faces which include health and nutrition concerns, minimising waste and environmental impact, improving food security, responding to population growth and globalisation and improving productivity and developing and manufacturing successful products. A multidisciplinary approach is vital to solving these problems and physics has a crucial role to play.

It isn’t an area that hits the headlines – like drug discovery or driverless cars – but getting the underlying science right is likely to have significant consequences for the manufacturer and the consumer. As the country struggles with its economy, and the underlying low levels of productivity below our fellow G7 nations, as laid out in this week’s report from the Industrial Strategy Commission, we should not simply be looking at  hi-tech sorts of industry. We should worry about investing in improving productivity across the manufacturing landscape – chocolate included. After all, one of the advantages of cold extrusion of chocolate is the reduction in energy costs in its manufacture

 

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Inching Forward

This week Cambridge University held its annual Diversity event, hosted by the Vice Chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, always known as Borys. He has been an outstanding leader on this, as on so many fronts, but he is retiring as VC at the end of the academic year. Even at his initial interview he made it plain how close this particular topic was to his heart and he has constantly led from the front and supported those of us most closely involved in making change happen. Progress has been made, but Borys – like many of us – is undoubtedly saddened that it hasn’t been faster. Come the new academic year we will have attained 20% women amongst the Professoriate. One can either think wow, this is real progress (remember, back in 1998 when I was promoted to professor I was the first woman to make this grade in any of the physical sciences); or think this is an appallingly low number. Both reactions seem legitimate to me.

The meeting this week was in part an opportunity to take stock of where we’d come from and in part to reflect on where we are now. Speaker after speaker commented on the issue of our ‘culture’ as a large part of the problem. Cambridge has made real strides, and the Athena Swan process has been or is in the process of being adopted by departments all across the university. Whatever I may feel about the process now it has become so ubiquitous and generic, it has undoubtedly been hugely influential in prompting action across the board. I just worry that it is not necessarily still provoking the reflection about what is really needed in each different department in my university or elsewhere: Athena Swan is not (or at least should not be) a tick box activity.

Thorough and sensible policies are vital, plus the action plans as required in Athena Swan submissions, but these will not produce a genuinely equal, supportive environment for everyone without ensuring the local culture changes too. Every part of an institution will have its own peculiar and possibly unpleasant little tics and pockets of resistance. It is easier said than done to root these out. I’m sure every reader of this blog will recognise one or more of these characters and characteristics:

  • The senior professor who pays lip service to equality and then either hits on or ignores junior women around him. The former can lead to a toxic environment, the latter can lead to a direct (as opposed to indirect) career blight.
  • The supervisor or group leader who only pays attention to their junior clones and who is dismissive of anyone who shows signs of weakness or anxiety. Not for them to nurture future talent unless they recognise their younger self in the student.
  • The head of department who demands that all job advertisements stress only candidates who can demonstrate ground-breaking, world-leading and highly original research should bother to apply. Such words are part of the cultural barrier which deters many, both men and women.
  • The promotion committee member who likewise expects to see such standard phrases to be used in reference letters if an applicant is to be successful, along with publications in high impact journals, whatever a paper’s intrinsic worth. Such people may pay zero attention to whether or not the applicant has done anything for the wider good, including pastoral care, shouldered a heavy lecturing load, substantial committee work or mentoring.

These characterisations are not particularly extreme, or indeed rare, and each needs a different approach to resolving. Only in a few such cases is policy alone like to cure the problem. Policy is, as the mathematicians would say, a necessary but not sufficient condition. However the more people who appreciate the policy aims and implications and are willing to challenge the behaviour described in the above bullet points, the better.

In my own talk I apparently said ‘men are more powerful’ when they speak out. What I meant by that is that a man speaking out is often more effective (rather than intrinsically more powerful) because it is the more unexpected. It can jolt other men into realising that perhaps their behaviour is out of line. A woman, particularly if she is the butt of interruptions or other aggressive behaviour in a meeting, can be strongly empowered and supported by other people round the table calling out such behaviour. It is often harder for the person concerned, but others can speak out. A man watching inappropriate behaviour towards a young colleague can intercede with impunity when the victim may feel paralysed. However, policy is never going to resolve such matters: interruptions cannot be forbidden and a list of inappropriate comments cannot be written down and outlawed (although of course pure misogyny and harassment can be).

When it comes to expectations at appointments and promotion meetings, I am beginning to see a change in attitude. Just last week I watched a man express concern that we might be slipping into the bad habits of unconscious bias when comparing a male and female candidate. Everyone round the table thought about this, discussed the matter and decided on this occasion we were not. Nevertheless it was a timely and appropriate reminder to check thought processes before going too far. I am heartened more and more by observing such challenges – and also about challenges about potential double standards, for instance when demanding demonstrable evidence from women candidates whilst potential is thought to be good enough for men. Oh there are so many ways unconscious bias can slip into our processes.

Less common as yet seems to be really serious thought about the advertisements that are put out. Too often – even if the boiler plate about minorities being encouraged etc is included (and even that is not always the case ) – stand-out words are used as requirement which may put off the more modest of either gender. Is it really necessary to state that applicants need to be internationally leading, or doing cutting-edge research? Does that really only put of those candidates whom you don’t want to apply (who can anyway be rejected if they do) and none of the ones you do? I am sure my own university believes it would only ever appoint the very best, so I see no need to put in words designed to scare the brilliant but diffident off. Nor do I think anything like sufficient progress has been made in reconsidering what academia really wants of its academics in 2017. The model still smacks of something at least 50 years old (with the added ‘bonus’ of impact factor and REFability), rather than recognizing what universities have become with all their diverse strands and needs. (I refer the reader to the book we published 3 years ago that I still think needs much more careful reading and digestion across the sector The Meaning of Success.)

Nevertheless I would say that for my own university, progress has been made. As I reflected in my talk, nearly 20 years ago and soon after my own promotion to professor, someone very senior (whom I’ll leave anonymous) could say to me that they thought ‘physics had been sorted out once I’d been promoted’. I don’t believe anyone would think that was an adequate response these days to comments on a department’s overall shortcomings: one professor does not a gender-equal department make. So substantial progress has been made in recognizing the scale of the problems; recognizing that if women are expressing discomfort at their experiences or are not being appointed or promoted in line with the size of the pool or at a comparable rate to men, work has to be done. Despite my frequent feelings of frustration at the slow pace of change, I need to remind myself from time to time, we are at least inching towards a better place.

 

 

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Visiting the Roots of the Industrial Revolution

I managed to sneak in a few days break in Derbyshire between two major College activities. It was good to escape to a less flat landscape than Cambridgeshire can manage and stretch my muscles up the steep hills that the small town of Wirksworth offers. Sitting at the south end of the Peak District just outside the National Park, it has a most unusual layout: on the hills there remain many little alleys joining houses that don’t sit on roads at all. Clearly, over the years, the houses were built wherever there was flat space enough for foundations, regardless of (and obviously pre-dating) vehicular access of the modern variety. The particular part we were staying in is known as the Puzzle Gardens. I am not sure if this name derives simply from the fact that it is a puzzle to find your way around these ‘ginnels’ – although it certainly is – or whether there is some more subtle origin for the name.

Wirksworth was home to the Babington family, of Babington plot fame. Their house was built from stone quarried essentially from their back garden, which meant the house we were staying in – early 19th century I think – and which was located immediately above it, sat on an artificial cliff edge. The local landscape was largely determined and dominated by mining and quarrying activities. Hence this particular house we rented had at one point been used as a doss house for the workers in the quarries, and had housed 11-12 people in what was little more than a one-up-one-down structure. Initially lead-mining had been the main industry, but as this faded limestone quarrying took over: at least some of the hills and ridges that made up Wirkworth were undoubtedly man-made.

The main local walking route, the High Peak Trail, itself was an old railway. Not a passenger railway and perhaps more accurately described as a tramway, it was built for industrial transport (largely of the quarried stone) over routes canals could not cope with because of the hills. The inclines were steep indeed, with the climb from High Peak Junction (where the railway joined the Cromford Canal) being approximately 1 in 8 – not something you’d find on a current mainline in the UK. The engineering was clearly cutting edge for its day, and some parts (such as an engine house at Middleton Top) were still visible though long out of use.

The Cromford Canal had other links to major industry, with Cromford being the site of Richard Arkwright’s first mill, a water-powered cotton mill.

Cromford Mill
Joseph Wright’s painting of Cromford Mill, exhibited at the Museum and Art  Gallery in Derby.

Initially apprenticed as a wig-maker in Lancashire, Arkwright moved south to Derbyshire and became one of the most highly successful entrepreneurs of his day. However his acquisition of the patents for the water-powered spinning frames was not without dispute (he was ultimately stripped of the patents long after his factories had made him a mint of money). He introduced what became the norm of factory work, a twelve hour day; thirteen if you include the ‘generous’ hour he gave for lunch – which allowed time for the maintenance of the equipment so no working time was lost. The Mill itself is in the process of restoration, but there is little (at least currently) to give a real flavour of what the place must have been like at its heyday. When I last visited around 20 years ago my memory is that there was a better display rather than the more modern ‘experience’, but no doubt this is a matter of taste.

To prove to the world at large how successful he had been, Arkwright – who towards the end of his life was knighted – built a fantastic ‘castle’ (Willersley Castle, now a hotel), just up the Derwent River.

Willersley CastleWillersley Castle and the Derwent, painted by Joseph Wright

He never got to live there but his son (also Richard) did. Arkwright senior married his daughter Susanna off, in standard social-climbing form, to a local landowner, Charles Hurt, and they moved to Wirksworth Hall close to where we were staying. He also made sure the various members of his family, including himself, were painted by the local star portrait painter Joseph Wright (always known as Wright of Derby, although why he uniquely amongst British painters is known by his location is unclear to me).

Richard Arkwright senior (2)Sir Richard Arkwright, by Joseph Wright

Richard Arkwright juniorSusanna Hurt2

Richard Arkwright Junior and family                                 Susanna Hurt and daughter

Both paintings by Joseph Wright

(I like the similarity of hats in these paintings! Fashion being dictatorial no doubt)

Those of Arkwright senior and junior are in Derby’s Museum and Art Gallery (that of his daughter in a private collection) where they sit adjacent to a (in this case reproduction) portrait of Erasmus Darwin, whom I’ve written about before as one of my heroes. The Darwins and the Arkwrights lived close to one another but seem to have moved in very different circles and I am not aware of any obvious interaction. The Darwin family were non-conformist and intellectual – as were all the Lunar Society members; the Arkwrights were enterpreneurs rather than intellectuals, and built a church in Cromford for the mill-workers they brought to work and live there. Presumably this is why there was no overlap at a time when class structures and religion provided sufficient grounds for difference and separation.

I learned a lot from this brief visit to Wirksworth and the wider Derwent Valley, which played such a significant part in the development of the Industrial Revolution. It was good to get away and recharge batteries.

 

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