Co-Director Iain McCalman on a Panel for Event Hosted by the Royal Society

'Boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef' by Christian Haugen via Flickr Commons

On Thursday 14 September 2017, SEI Co-Director Professor Iain McCalman was a panellist at Royal Society, London’s event ‘Adventures in the Indo-Pacific.’ In drawing on the link between the history of science and current scientific research, the event paid tribute to the scientific legacy of botanist Joseph Banks and discussed how Joseph Banks’ expeditions paved the way for our present understanding of the flora, fauna, and ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific regions.

The event was a part of the Royal Society’s Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research network project and conference titled Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Re-Making of the Indo-Pacific World. The project sets out to showcase how Banks’ interactions with the people of the Indo-Pacific ‘transformed the economy, religion, culture and natural knowledge of the region, and contributed to the remaking of the Indo-Pacific.’

The panel for ‘Adventures in the Indo-Pacific’ consisted of expert international and interdisciplinary scholars such as SEI’s McCalman, and Dr Rebekah Higgitt (chair), Professor Kathy Willis and Dr Simon Werrett, who reflected on the effects of Joseph of Banks’ voyages.

The panel explored how Banks set the foundations for our current understanding of climate change and the protection of fragile ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. The panel also discussed how Banks documented and protected important species and plant biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific, and inspired future generations of scientists, including Charles Darwin and Joseph Hooker.


You can watch the McCalman and the other panellists in the video below.