Fieldwork in Fancy Dress – Linnean Society Annual Lecture

Mon, 21 Jan 2019 15:30:00 GMT

John Rylands Library was the backdrop for the Linnean Society’s Fourth Annual Irene Manton Lecture, which was hosted by the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH) on Tuesday 4 December.

The lecture celebrates the significant contribution made by women to the Natural Sciences and is named after British botanist Irene Manton who, as well as being the first female president of the Linnean Society, studied for her PhD at the University of Manchester.

This year’s guest speaker was Dr Sandy Knapp, current President of the Society, who delivered her lecture entitled Fieldwork in Fancy Dress in the historic setting of the library’s reading room. Dr Knapp’s presentation featured stories of inspirational female scientists – to highlight the natural history of women in the field and emphasise the critical role of fieldwork in understanding and protecting the planet.

Following her lecture, Sandy said: “That was amazing. What I really liked about it was there was such a variety of people in the audience who are interested in diversity in science. And that’s what’s important – the way the University’s social responsibility group and The Linnean Society have come together to increase diversity in science.”

The evening was a huge success with a varied audience of over 90 attendees, including Linnean Society members, University colleagues, sixth form students and members of the public. It was particularly pleasing to see so many students, as the lecture aims to inspire and inform those interested in a career in the Natural Sciences.

One of the audience members commented: “Sandy is such an inspiration. I learnt a lot about women in natural history that I didn’t know before. Particularly loved hearing about independent travelling women!”