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Professor Tim Birkhead FRS in conversation with Adam Nicolson discuss their shared interests of birds, writing and conservation


Professor of Ornithology Tim Birkhead FRS was joined by historian and writer Adam Nicolson FRSL to explore how to re-associate the analytical and imaginative aspects of understanding animals. Can we move beyond anthropomorphism to a point where we recognise an equal coexistence with animals?

World seabird populations have reduced by a third since 1950. Conservationists and scientists have the monumental task of trying to turn the tide of mass extinction of species. To capture the public's imagination on this issue, how can writers and scientists work together to help the cause?

Tim Birkhead is a zoologist of behaviour and evolution at the University of Sheffield, whose books Bird Sense and The Most Perfect Thing have both been previously shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize. Adam Nicolson is a prizewinning author of books about history, landscape, literature and the sea. His latest book The Seabird's Cry is published this summer. 

Their conversation was chaired by science writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond and was hosted in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature.

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