Two academics from St Mary’s University, Twickenham participated in an international workshop at the National Portrait Gallery last week. The workshop, which took place on the 26th and 27th January, formed part of a series of events organised by the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s project: 'Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World'.
The event explored the diverse networks of scientists, artists, merchants and travellers who collaborated with Banks, a British botanist, naturalist and former President of the Royal Society, and attracted speakers and attendees from Australia; the USA; and across Europe.
Dr Carl Thompson, a Senior Lecturer in English at St Mary’s was invited to present a paper on the many women travellers who contributed to scientific knowledge in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Much of the paper derived from Dr Thompson’s long running investigation into the multi-facetted career of Maria Graham (1785-1842), a notable travel writer and intellectual of the period.
Dr Clarissa Campbell Orr, a Visiting Research Fellow in History at St Mary’s and a well-known expert on eighteenth-century social networks, specifically the circles surrounding the botanical artist Mary Delaney (1700-1788), also attended the event and was invited to chair the second day of the workshop.
Led by researchers at the National Maritime Museum and University College, London, the project: 'Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World', explores the cultural milieu and intellectual legacies of Banks, who made his name as the naturalist on the first voyage of James Cook and subsequently became a hugely influential figure in both British science and the development of the British Empire.