Tuesday 20 March 2018

BSBI trustee celebrates Linnean Society's first female fellows

Sandy (2nd from right) and fellow London botanists
take part in the 2018 New Year Plant Hunt
Image : L. Bersweden
Dr Sandy Knapp, a BSBI trustee, Head of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division, Dept. of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London and President-elect of the Linnean Society of London, has written an excellent blogpost celebrating the Society's first female fellows. You can read it in full here.

Sandy is an active BSBI member as well as a trustee, a world-class taxonomist and expert in the potato family Solanaceae, a great science communicator and advocate of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 

Her blogpost coincides with a meeting the Linnean Society is holding tomorrow 21st March to celebrate its 230th anniversary and the 16 women fellows it voted to elect in 1904.

Sandy was astonished by Roger Horton's
'Fooled by Babington' poster at the
2015 BSBI Exhibition Meeting
Image: Waheed Arshad
BSBI has a long history of welcoming both female and male botanists - as this poster displayed at the 2015 BSBI Exhibition Meeting and this article in New Journal of Botany point out, female members were exchanging herbarium specimens in the early days of the Botanical Exchange Club/Botanical Society of London, fore-runner of the BSBI

So it seems particularly fitting that the BSBI should applaud Sandy and all our friends and colleagues at the Linnean Society in their endeavours tomorrow to - as Sandy's blogpost says - "celebrate the efforts and successes of female natural historians in documenting and describing the world around us" and "come together and discuss how to expand the diversity in our community to become a catalyst for change".

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