May 18 2021

Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebration: Isabella Gordon NEW PODCAST

18th May 2021Isabella Gordon
Marine Biologist
BORN 18th May 1901, Keith, Banffshire, Scotland

PODCAST EPISODE 19: Isabella and the Emperor
“Women of Science & Music: 30 celebrations”

From humble beginnings in Keith, Moray, Scotland, Dr Isabella Gordon (1901-1988) working at the British Museum (Natural History) had become one of the world’s most respected scientists in carcinology, the study of crustaceans.
In 1961, Japanese scientists wanted to celebrate the 60th birthday of Emperor Hirohito, an enthusiastic marine biologist. They invited Dr Gordon to be an honoured guest for the occasion.  In both countries, memories of war were still raw, so such an invitation was extremely unusual. Dr Gordon had a personal informal discussion with the Emperor, met with distinguished scientists, and became the only non-Japanese Founder Member of the Carcinological Society of Japan.

This is the Imperial Seal of Japan (CC) which represents a chrysanthemum flower. These were planted in a hurry for the visit of Emperor Hirohito to the Natural History Museum in October 1971, and removed elsewhere immediately afterwards! 

PODCAST EPISODE 19: Isabella and the Emperor
“Women of Science & Music: 30 celebrations”

Catherine Booth – Science Historian and retired Science Curator, National Library of Scotland
Miranda Lowe – Principal Curator (Crustacea) and museum scientist at the Natural History Museum

“The Grand Old Lady of Carcinology” (May 15th 2021) an acapella limerick by Frances M Lynch for 3 female and 1 male voice; words by Frances M Lynch, Dr A.J. Bateman & Dr Isabella Gordon; performed, recorded & produced by the composer & Herbie Clarke especially for this podcast (the full text is on Soundcloud) (click on the blue button below to listen)

“A Lament for Invertebrates” (2017) by Frances M Lynch for Solo Voice (Frances M Lynch) and Underwater Soundscape sampled from the voices of Primary 6, Canal View Primary School, Wester Hailes, and equipment at St Abbs Marine Station; words by Frances M Lynch in collaboration with Dr Karen Diele(click on the blue button below to listen)

To find out more about Isabella Gordon please go to her page on the Minerva Scientifica Website

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Created by electric voice theatre, Minerva Scientifica is a project that brings together professional performers with community musicians and school children. Together, we raise awareness of the rich heritage and deep connections between music and science, and inspire the next generation of future scientists.

Minerva Scientifica – Connections 2020