2003 Founder's Medal
Commendation for the 2003 SHNH Founders’ Medal
Written by SHNH Past President Dr Joe Cain; presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, May 2003 in Florence, Italy.
1 May 2003
The Society for the History of Natural History awards its Founders’ Medal to “persons who have made a substantial contribution to the study of the history or bibliography of natural history.”
We are delighted to announce the 2003 Founders’ Medal is awarded to Professor Janet Browne, currently on staff at The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London.
SHNH President Dr Joe Cain commended her work as follows,
“Everyone knows of Professor Browne’s two volume biography of Darwin. It stands in a league of its own, succeeding in the near-impossible job of reconstructing Darwin as a genuine person: living, breathing, thinking, feeling, and living his life day-to-day. Her portrait is intimate and direct. She quite simply has written the finest biography of Darwin in print.”
“It would be a mistake to think this is Professor Browne’s only success as a scholar. Her 1983 book, Secular Ark, put the science of biogeography on the conceptual map for historians of science. Few in our speciality yet know of her project to create a CD-ROM to study medicine in literature but keep an eye out. It’ll be a gem.”
“Professor Browne also deserves praise as a mentor and teacher. Students rave about her teaching. She’s a perceptive supervisor of research students: demanding but well aware of developing needs and keen to build real professionals. She makes time for work in professional societies, too, serving as editor for the British Journal for the History of Science and as president of its supporting society. She now serves on the Council of the Society for the History of Natural History. In all settings she somehow manages to be ever enthusiastic, kind, and gently but persistently persuasive.”
“I work with Professor Browne at UCL and take great pleasure in delivering this award. Here is a scholar and teacher who exemplifies the principles of our Founders’ Medal: substantial contributions to the history of natural history and a life-long commitment to progress within the discipline. Knowing she is hardly mid-way through her career will fill us with excitement. The more we hear from Professor Browne, the better.”
“Professor Browne, please accept our Founders’ Medal as a symbol of the congratulations, admiration, and best wishes of our Society.”
Joe Cain, SHNH President