Member Talk: A Curious Boy with Professor Richard Fortey FRS FRSL

A photograph of a meteorite

Event information

Member & Patron Virtual Event

Free, online event - no ticket required

Monday 8 November 2021, 19.00-20.00

Professor Richard Fortey is an acclaimed and multi-award-winning writer and television presenter alongside his role as Senior Palaeontologist at the Museum.

Join us for an hour of inspiring and home-grown natural history as he discusses how he went from curious child to world-renowned scientist with Merit Researcher and dinosaur specialist, Professor Paul Barrett.

Charming, funny and wise, in 'A Curious Boy', Richard retraces a life in the thrall of science and shows how restless curiosity about the natural world led him to become a leading scientist and writer. 

From a garden shed laboratory where he manufactured the greatest stink in the world to a tent high in the arctic in pursuit of fossils, in this book Richard divulges his obsession and love of nature. 

The front cover of 'A Curious Boy' by Richard Fortey
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'What makes a scientist? I was first made on a riverbank. Did my early life somehow dictate the person I became? That small boy in grey flannel shorts doggedly tracking a virtuoso father along a chalk stream eventually became a scientist and writer. The roots of my own life were nourished on summer days in the Berkshire countryside just pottering about and wading through marshes.'

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Richard Fortey

  • Speaker biographies

    Professor Richard Fortey

    Richard spent his working life in palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, specialising in trilobites and becoming a world expert. He was elected President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year of 2007 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature. 

    He has received the Frink Medal, the Michael Faraday Prize and the Lewis Thomas Prize for science writing, as well as the silver medal of the Zoological Society for science communication. He is the writer of eight previous science and nature books, including two Sunday Times bestsellers, all of which are still in print. 

    Professor Paul Barrett 

    Professor Paul Barrett is an Individual Merit Researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences and the Museum's senior dinosaur specialist. Paul is a world-leading expert on the evolution and biology of dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles and has published more than 200 scientific papers and books. His main areas of interest are in the biology of plant-eating dinosaurs, describing new dinosaurs, and in large-scale evolutionary processes, such as the influence of climate on evolution.

    During the course of this work, Paul has travelled extensively, working on museum collections around the world and conducting fieldwork in China, the UK, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In addition to his scientific work, Prof. Barrett is an enthusiastic science communicator as a frequent contributor to the Museum's public programme. He is the author of the award-winning children's book 'National Geographic Dinosaurs', 'Dippy: The Tale of a Museum Icon' and most recently 'Dinosaurs: How they Lived and Evolved'.

How to watch

This talk is free to attend and will be available to view via a private web link accessible to all our supporters on The Hive.

Members and Patrons will also receive an email with the private web link on the day of the talk.

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An exclusive event

This event is part of a series of unique talks, tours and viewings  for our Members, Patrons, Supporters and Corporate Members only.

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