The first ornithologist: Francis Willughby

 

Willughby's eagle

Public history of science lecture by Professor Tim Birkhead FRS

Francis Willughby transformed the study of birds in the mid 1600s. Rejecting anecdotes, hieroglyphs and emblematics, he made ornithology scientific for the first time. Sadly, he was almost certainly unaware of success since he died before his pioneering encyclopaedia was published. His ambitious project was completed and published by his colleague and one-time mentor John Ray, and entitled The Ornithology of Francis Willughby (1678). I will discuss the way Willughby and Ray worked together to produce this landmark in ornithological studies.

The lecture is free and all are welcome to attend. No prior booking is necessary and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis - doors will open at 12.30pm.

Please contact Felicity Henderson on 020 74512597 or felicity.henderson@royalsociety.org with any questions about this event.

The first ornithologist: Francis Willughby 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Open House Weekend 2015 19 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London The Royal Society's building will be open to the public on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015.

For more events please see the events diary.