From Astronauts to Venture Capitalists, the Scott Lecture Brings Leading Minds to Barbados

Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados

Created 02 Nov, 2018
Tags CBB Blog
Categories General Press Release
Views: 4232

Since the inaugural Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture was held back in 1976, it has become not only a fixture on the Central Bank of Barbados’ calendar of events but also the longest running lecture series in the island, and has given thousands of Barbadians access to the minds of Nobel laureates, captains of industry, humanitarians, and distinguished sons and daughters of the soil.

Conceived and introduced by Dr. Courtney Blackman (now Sir Courtney), the Central Bank’s first Governor, the series is named in honour of Barbados’ first native Governor General. Sir Winston Scott, a doctor by profession, served as head of state from 1967 until his death in 1976.

Despite being a financial institution, the Central Bank has deliberately not limited the Scott Lecture’s scope to economics and related disciplines, but rather has given it a broader focus, choosing subject matter based on topicality and broad appeal. Past lectures have touched on religion – “Challenges to Faith and Religion in the Age of High Technology” (1985); pan-Africanism – “Education for Self-Reliance and Self-Respect: a Continuing Challenge for Africa and the African Diaspora” (1992); science “Cloning in Biology and Medicine” (2003); and health – “Diabetes: a Tale of Genes and Sugar" (2014).

Throughout the years, the Scott Lecture has not only brought international luminaries such as environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki and economist Dr. Fred Bergsten to the island, but it has also fostered national and regional pride by shining the light on Barbadians and other West Indians who have achieved international acclaim. In recent years, the lecture has featured Dr. Victor Gooding, a scientist and former Barbadian Olympian; Grenadian-born venture capitalist, Nicholas Brathwaite, who was educated in Barbados; and Dr. Richard Drayton, a Barbadian historian who is currently a Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College in London.

Indeed, as far back as 1997, Professor Oliver Headley was already agitating for the adoption of renewable energy when he delivered the 22nd edition of the lecture on the topic “The Sun Will Still Shine when the Oil Runs Out”. And Sir Courtney himself was the featured speaker at the 2002 lecture.

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