Adam Smith 300 Symposium
Bringing Adam Smith’s ideas and legacy into conversations around contemporary issues
The key event in the Adam Smith Business School’s year-long tercentenary celebration was the Adam Smith 300 Symposium.
The day-long event on Saturday 10th of June, featured international scholars and practitioners who brought Smith into conversations with contemporary issues.
Live theatre, music and art, and a special viewing of material from the University’s Smith archive brought Adam Smith to life during the afternoon.
The first panel discussion in the morning covered Why Smith? Why Glasgow? Chaired by Professor Kat Riach, with Professor Benjamin Friedman, Professor Ryan Hanley, Professor Mary Morgan, Professor Maria Pia Paganelli and Professor Steve Medema. See the discussion on the ASBS YouTube channel.
This was followed by a discussion on Smith & Economics, chaired by Dr Maha Rafi Atal, with Professor Anne Case, Professor Diane Coyle CBE, Professor Randall Kroszner and Professor Douglas Irwin. See the discussion on the ASBS YouTube channel.
All discourse took place in Hunter Halls West with lunch and activities in the Kelvin Gallery.
The activities featured a specially commissioned piece of music titled ‘The Symphony of Moral Sentiments’ – written by Helen MacKinnon - a composer and Bachelor of Music Honours graduate from the University of Glasgow.
The new composition was inspired by the enduring legacy of Adam Smith and how it inspires the University’s family of world-changing students and alumni. The music explores the theme of how we inherit the past and are inspired to give to the future. The piece was performed by The Hallelujah String Trio and followed by some traditional Scottish music.
Company Theatre Productions performed ‘The Life & Times of Adam Smith’, telling the story of Adam Smith’s life, the people he met, and the influence his mother had over him. Showcasing a modern twist to the play when long-lost papers are found, and new possibilities emerge regarding the legacy of his work.
Attendees also had the rare opportunity to view a specially curated display of some of the University of Glasgow’s world-class collection of Adam Smith-related books and manuscripts. This mini-exhibition included original correspondence from Adam Smith and rare editions of his seminal works, including a first edition of ‘The Wealth of Nations’; handwritten eighteenth-century student notes of his University lectures. Collection experts and archivists from the library were on hand to introduce the material and chat with delegates about the items on show.
Throughout the day, artist Graham Ogilvie created a live drawing to capture on paper the themes and discussions of the event.
Smith & Political Economy was the subject of the final panel discussion of the day, chaired by Professor Graeme Roy, featuring discourse from Professor Sir John Kay, Ms Jo Swinson CBE, Dr Glory Liu and Dr Adam Posen CBE. See the discussion on the ASBS YouTube channel.
The event ended with a drink reception in the cloisters and a performance by the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir.