Natural historians welcomed to Cumbria

Natural historians welcomed to Cumbria name

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria, Prof Julie Mennell, will open the summer meeting and Annual General Meeting of the Society of History and Natural History (SHNH) to be held in Cumbria this week.

Formed in 1936 by a small group of scientists, librarians and bibliographers based at the British Museum, the society now boasts a growing international membership.
The broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough is the organisation's Patron.

This year the two-day event is being held at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus and at the Freshwater Biological Association at Far Sawrey. The theme is Women in the History of Natural Sciences.

Speakers will include Andrea Hart with an overview on Women as Natural History Artists, drawing on collections at the Natural History Museum in London, Charles Nelson on Katherine Sophie Baily: author of the Irish Flora (1833)Heleen Plaisier on Margaret Gatty (1809-1873), writer, collector, scientist, and Sam George on Entomology for Girls: Priscilla Wakefield’s and Louisa Beaufort’s “Familiar Dialogues on the History and Classification of Insects”.

On Friday 16th June, at the Freshwater Biological Association, Pearson Building, the focus will be on women working in aquatic sciences with speakers including Claire Waterton on The role of the FBA in fostering pioneering women aquatic biologists, Catherine Duigan on Kathleen Carpenter (1891-1970) a life in fresh water, and Mary Morris on Dr Rosemary Lowe -McConnell (1921-2014).

The afternoon session will include an overview on Female phycologists, by Jenny Bryant, Arthur Lucas presenting a paper on behalf of Australian colleagues on Flora Martin, nee Campbell (1845-1923) on the threshold of mycology in Australia and Al Reeve on Dr Mary E. Gillham (1921-2013) a dedicated naturalist.

“It is an honour to be asked to welcome the Society to our Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District, home to many inspirational female role models in their own fields like Charlotte Mason and Beatrix Potter.  We look forward to stimulating discussions around the history of women in the natural sciences,” Professor Mennell said.