It is a great pleasure to confirm my election as a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.
I have not yet been inducted, but will be at one of the upcoming meetings of the Society.
Since speaking at the Linnean Society on 5th November 2009, and being heartily welcomed into the delightful social and intellectual atmosphere of the LinSoc’s pre-lecture teas and post-lecture wine receptions, I have done my best to attend other lectures at Burlington House.
The talk on 21st January 2010, on the Scottish Beaver Trials, was not only memorable for the interesting information regarding the Trials, but because my name, among a number of others, was up for election, and most interestingly, I had a delightful chat with a lady whom I was certain I had met before.
I recognized her at the pre-talk tea reception and wanted to speak to her but didn’t have the opportunity, so was delighted when she happened to sit beside me as people settled for the talk.
‘Have we met before? You look so familiar,’ I said, ‘maybe we’ve spoken here before?’
The lady wasn’t sure if we’d met before either, but was very friendly and introduced herself– ‘I’m Janet Browne.’
Oh! The foremost biographer of Charles Darwin. Right.
We decided that either we had met before, quite possibly at the Cambridge Darwin Festival in the summer of 2009, or that I simply recognized her because, well…she’s a very recognizable person when you’ve been studying Darwin!
Then she said she recognized my name in association with my activities at Cambridge! That was indeed a surprise and a pleasure.
As we settled in to hear the talk, she nudged me and pointed up at the original, now restored portrait of Darwin, and the one of Wallace beside him, hanging just on the wall above us.
‘There are our guys,’ she said.