A quick note to announce a change in the management of this blog, and some forthcoming reading room closures.

For almost the last two years, I’ve had the enormous privilege of looking after this blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far – and if you’ve got any requests or suggestions do please let us know in the comments. Very sadly I shall be leaving the Royal Society at the end of this week, so the editorial mantle will pass to my colleague Rupert Baker (aka ‘that Royal Society librarian who always blogs about expeditions going horribly wrong’).

For those of you who like to visit our collections in person, please note that the Library reading rooms will be closed from Friday 29 June to Monday 9 July inclusive, and again on Friday 13 July. The longer break in our operations is due to the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, our annual festival of science which takes over most of the building (Friday 13 is Admission Day for our new Fellows).

Summer Science is always a fantastic week. As well as the opportunity to get up close to all sorts of fascinating research there will be a whole range of lectures, panel discussions and cafés scientifiques taking place too – you can find all the details in our online Events diary. For those of you who won’t be able to come along, do have a look at the exhibition website as there is plenty to get involved with on there too.


Skate, from Willughby 'Historia Piscium'


Fans of Douglas Adams will have spotted the gratuitous Hitchhiker’s reference in the title of this post. I’m afraid I haven’t managed to come up with any connection between Adams and the Royal Society, although I have learned (from this map) that the first series of Hitchhiker’s was filmed just up the road, and several of the Douglas Adams Memorial Lectures have been given by high-profile scientists…

However, this did at least give me an excuse for sharing a couple of my favourite images from the Royal Society’s collections, from Willughby’s Historia Piscium – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. (If so, you can some more in our online picture gallery!)


Turbot, from Willughby 'Historia Piscium'



  • Anonymous

    Rupert here (‘expeditions going horribly wrong’, etc) – well done, Emma, for a fantastic two years’ curatorship of this blog. As the new editor, I’ll have a tough job keeping up with your high standards – my technical skills are currently on a steep (and slippery) upward curve!

    On a fanboy note: Douglas Adams wrote the (never transmitted) Doctor Who series ‘Shada’ in the Tom Baker era. Baker was briefly married to the actress Lalla Ward, who played the Time Lord (Lady?) Romana. Lalla Ward is now married to … Richard Dawkins FRS. There’s your Adams/Royal Society connection! I’ll get my anorak …

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post.Hitchhiker’s reference is quite indeed.

  • Good luck, Emma! And see you at the end of the universe 🙂