The reason for the Society’s demise in 1853, after a successful existence since 1835, are not entirely clear. But some will recognise the name of Gibraltar’s very first scientific society for its connection with its most important specimen. The Society was the custodian of the Gibraltar Skull from its donation to the Society by Lieutenant Edmund Flint in 1848 to the end of the Society’s days, after which the collection went to the Soldiers’ Homes set up by Lieutenant Pilkington Jackson. The skull eventually went to London in 1864 along with material from Captain Frederick Brome’s excavations from the Genista Caves.
In researching the history of the Society I fancied it might be fun to resurrect it at some stage. So when Professor Clive Finlayson, in his introductory talk at the presentation of the Museum Honorary Fellowships on the 85th anniversary of the Museum’s opening (the 23rd July, 2015) called on the Fellows to explore the possibility of recreating the Society, I was intrigued. During the reception after the ceremony we chatted and it transpired that his son, Stewart, had had the idea to resurrect the Society. We got together and thrashed out how to do this. My interest was based on the romantic notion of bringing back Gibraltar’s first scientific society; Stewart had exciting ideas for projects and activities. We thought the society might complement some of the work existing societies do. But we also wanted it to provide opportunities for workers who were enthusiastic and had interests in science. We drew up a list of people, some long standing workers in the field others new blood. We included the Museum Honorary Fellows working in science, but we expect other Fellows to become involved too! Because Stewart and I had thought up the idea we thought it would be fun for me to be President and Stewart, Secretary, for the first term while we got things going.
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