Beatrix Potter is , of course, best known for her collection of childrens books and array of memorable characters such as Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin. But she was also a scientist, a mycologist to be precise, which meant her area of speciality was the study of fungi. In 1897 she wrote a technical paper called ‘on the germination of the spores of agaricineae’. She gave it to The Linnean Society in London, which is the world’s oldest active biological society .Founded in 1788 , the Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus. When Helen B Potter (as she was known then) published her work in 1897, she was not allowed to present it to the Society as only men were allowed to do so at the time.. Now that historic wrong has been put right, thanks to a collaboration between the Linnean Society and the Ambleside based Armitt Museum. The latter is home to many of Beatrix Potter’s works. A young scientist Ali Murfitt, dressed in period costume, read out extracts from Helen B Potter’s scientific paper to a specially invited audience in central London. Gerry Foley sent ITV Border this report:ALI MURFITT is a scientist who plays Beatrix Potter she explains why this is important.
ELIZABETH ROLLINSON is from the Linean Society she explains how the paper was presented.
CLARE BROCKBANK is from Ambleside's Armitt museum who helped co-ordinated the event and hold many of Beatrix Potters, drawings and scientific works.
The pictures of Beatrix Potter are courtesy of Fredrick Warne and Co Ltd.