ISHR workshop: A Laboratory for Improvement? 24 January 2014
January 30, 2014 Leave a comment
On Friday 24 January the Institute of Scottish Historical Research hosted a workshop, A Laboratory for Improvement? Scotland in the 1680s and 90s, led by ISHR Visiting Scholar Dr Esther Mijers. It was an opportunity to discuss a planned edited collection of essays on Scotland in the late Restoration and post-Revolution period, as part of Dr Mijer’s project on William Carstares. Dr Mijers said: ‘I have always been struck by the dynamism of the 1680s, both in my work on universities and on Atlantic history, as opposed to the grim situation of the 1690s. I think that this is an area that has suffered neglect over the years and needs reassessment, and this workshop was a first step.’ Topics discussed focused on ideas and examples of ‘improvement’, such as the modernisation of the University of Edinburgh, the attempts by the Privy Council to reinvigorate the economy and ideas of agricultural improvement and landownership, and their development. Comparisons were made with England and the Continent. It was a lively debate which stimulated a lot of new ideas and gave plenty food for thought.