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Papers of Frederick Orpen Bower
    Correspondence of Frederick Orpen Bower 1917-1922
        Correpsondence of Frederick Orpen Bower: Sir David Prain to Albert Charles Seward

Glasgow University Archive Services

Letter to Frederick Orpen Bower from Sir David Prain

Item Summary

Reference Code

GB 0248 DC 002/14/380

Date(s)

20 October 1918

Extent and medium of the unit of description

1

letter

Name of creator

Prain | Sir | David | 1857-1944 | botanist and director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (England)

Scope and Content

Scope and Content

Letter to Frederick Orpen Bower from Sir David Prain stating that he has signed John McLean Thompson's certificate. He is pleased at Thompson's decision to join the Linnean Society, which he (Prain) sees as a duty of a young botanist or zoologist. He poses this as a contrast to the two very accomplished botanists appointed to two South African chairs, neither of whom was a member.

He goes on to discuss membership of the Linnean Society, which is not seen as a sign of achievement or means of advancement (any more than membership of a club). This may be discouraging younger members from joining, not because the society is failing to cultivate the sciences, but because they do not see any personal benefits in membership. Still the society needs an influx of the right sort of younger members to be able to continue in the long term.

His proposal is to make membership less easily obtained, in a similar manner to the Royal Society but not extending so far as keeping out entire classes. The Royal Society of Edinburgh's procedures are a better example.

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