STL Science Center

STL Science Center

15 July 2014

A Presidential Address

In 1995 a presidential address of the British Journal for the History of Science was published. The Cambridge University Press has done a good job of making sure this address is only available through their site and it can be rented for $5.99 for 24 hours or purchased for $30. The address is important in that it is about Mary Anning and calls her "the greatest fossilist the world ever knew." The address also recognizes that her biography had initially been omitted from the national (England) dictionary of biographies of distinguished persons (known as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). Mary Anning was included later on and her omission from the initial editions was noted. In fact, the earliest mention of Anning's biography is acknowledged as a mere 18 page pamphlet that named her "Heroine of Lyme Regis." Despite the omission and low coverage of her biography in history, it can be readily seen that any mention of Mary Anning in the public conscious has been positive and lauded her accomplishments and contributions to science. Only a few female scientists have actually been so praised, leaving Mary Anning's memory in very good company when all is said and done.

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