As I’ve mentioned previously, ‘Dinosaurs – A Historical Perspective’ happens on May 6th and 7th: pretty soon! This two-day conference will be held at the Geological Society’s Burlington House in Piccadilly (London), and we now have all the required information available online: if you’re thinking of attending it is mandatory that you check out the circular, look at the programme, and then deal with your booking. Read on for more details…
Events kick off on May 5th when we have a visit to Crystal Palace in Sydenham (trip costs £10). I’ve seen the Crystal Palace animals several times, but if you never have, they’re a must see, in my opinion (they’ve recently been repainted and repaired: adjacent image shows the hylaeosaur and one of the larger pterosaurs during the recent restoration project). The conference itself starts on the 6th at Burlington House (registration 8:30-10:00am). The full programme has now been released and can be viewed here. The conference meal happens on the evening of the 7th, and between the 8th and 11th we have several field trips to key sites on the Isle of Wight and Dorset coast. Prices are very reasonable, with a reduced rate available to students.
While originally intended to just be a dinosaur meeting, its scope has become somewhat expanded, such that historical contributions on all Mesozoic reptiles have now been welcomed. We didn’t have any contributions on lepidosaurs, fossil turtles, thalattosaurs, protorosaurs or crocodylomorphs, but this meeting will at least be a must for pterosaur workers as well as for those interested in dinosaurs. There is however some content on Mesozoic marine reptiles. As I’ve mentioned before, as with all academic conferences you don’t have to be a qualified or active scientist to attend – it’s open to anyone.
We have a very impressive list of participants who, while mostly European, are coming from all around the world: among many others, Hugh Torrens will be discussing William Perceval Hunter’s contribution to dinosaur research, Eric Buffetaut is discussing the early (pre-Stromer) history of spinosaurs, Brent Breithaupt and colleagues will be talking about the history of Dynamosaurus imperiosus, Phil Currie is speaking about Asian dinosaur hunting, Paul Barrett and colleagues are talking about the discovery of Indian dinosaurs, Darren Tanke is talking about the 1916 sinking of SS Mount Temple, Peter Wellnhofer is discussing research on Archaeopteryx, and we also have contributions from Mike P. Taylor, Dave Martill, David Unwin, Jean Le Loeuff and many others. It is extremely gratifying to see that, in the end, we managed to attract so many internationally-known experts. The meeting isn’t just going to be interesting, it will be a significant occasion, as never before have so many historians of Mesozoic research been gathered together (to my knowledge) [adjacent image is a truly terrifying depiction of the diplodocoid sauropod Barosaurus, modelled after Bakker's earlier rendition].
The deadline for booking is April 7th, so please act quickly if you want to come along. I’m intending to attend all of it – the fieldtrips, the lectures, the dinner. There are also plans to produce a special volume, and we aim to have a meeting about this at the conference. I really look forward to seeing many of you there: don’t hesitate to come and say hello. I would appreciate it most if you walked up to me and shouted ‘Amphisbaenians rule!’.