Jun 17 2022

Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebration: Laura Florence

17th June 2022Laura Florence
BORN 17th June 1882 Aberdeen, Scotland

“How Life is Lived in the Animal’s World – Lavender’s Blue” by Frances M Lynch
(click the blue button above to listen)

Laura Florence (1882-1957) was a Professor of Bacteriology at New York Medical College.  Her published research on the Food of Birds is still used as primary data in modern studies on birds. Much of the research she carried out throughout her life involved parasites and bacterial infections in farm animals and several of her papers are still cited by scientists working in similar fields today.


As a child, Laura Florence lived at No. 10, Queen’s Road, Aberdeen, next door to a child of similar years, Doris Mackinnon who also became a Professor in a Zoology discipline. In “How Life is Lived in the Animal’s World – Lavender’s Blue” we imagine that their inevitable childhood friendship endures throughout their lives, and despite being geographically separated, they write regular letters to each other in which their stories are revealed. Laura Florence settled for a long time in the USA but loved receiving a bag of Scottish Lavender to remind her of home – and this provided the theme of “Lavender’s Blue” which punctuates this substantial work.

Catherine Booth (Narrator)
Margaret Cameron – mezzo (Doris Mackinnon)
Frances M Lynch – soprano/piano (Laura Florence)

Children from Clovenstone Primary School, Edinburgh
Priscilla Adebambo (Young Doris Mackinnon)
Ellie Brammer (Young Laura Florence)
Nicole Laidlaw (Lilias Mackinnon).

Written in 2018 by FRANCES M LYNCH

Additional Material:
Science Historian Catherine Booth
Robert Burns “To a Louse”
Beethoven “Für Elise” (piano)
Traditional “Lavender’s Blue”
Lady Carolina Nairne “Oh! Rowan Tree!”
Marie Dare & Walter de la Mare The Three Cherry Trees” (voice & piano)
Liza Honeyman “We Shall ne-er meet again” (vocal duet & piano)

It was created for an event at The National Library of Scotland on January 18th 2018 where it was first performed

Find out more about Laura Florence on her Minerva Scientifica Page 

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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.

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