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Mary Anning: “The greatest fossilist the world ever knew”

Dino-Devotion Season's hosts the 12th Annual Grant Lecture

Despite the fact that she was an uneducated, working-class woman from Devon, Mary Anning (1799-1847) broke through the male-dominated field of geology to become one of the most important fossil collectors ever. She discovered the first ever plesiosaurs, the first British pterosaurs and several amazing ichthyosaurs but she was rarely given the credit. A religious Nonconformist, who published nothing and travelled little, her life is difficult for historians to study but proves to be fascinating.
This lecture explores all of these problems, and outlines Anning’s extraordinary achievements. Her work as a "merely commercial" collector of fossils opens up the complex debate about who is amateur and who professional.
Professor Hugh Torrens, former President of the British Society for the History of Science and the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences is the leading expert on Anning’s life, and has published over 200 books, articles and papers.
Following the lecture, there will be a drinks reception and a private view of the Museum. This event is run in collaboration with the Centre for Ecology and Evolution


Professor Hugh Torrens | talks


Date and Time:

12 November 2008 at 4:30 pm


2 hours



Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL
Rockefeller Building
University Street
020 3108 2052

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