Well, after yoga and crafting, a talk on the imminent rise (or not!) of AI, July's meeting also proved to be fascinating and, well, wonderful.
Due to the whim of President Sarah, and through our lovely member Steph, we were able to invite Jack Ashby, the Assistant Director of the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge to give a talk on Australian mammals, marsupials, monotremes and the like. But as well as discussing these captivating animals - and his footage of the platypus underwater was simply delightful - Jack is also interested in how Eurocentric and colonialist scientists have shaped the view of the animals, landscape and people of Australia, and some of the stories are not for the faint hearted*
After the talk, the floor opened for questions, and we delved further into various areas - and no, Rosie, you can't have a direwombat. Everyone agreed, members, and visitor (Hi Julia), that it was a really excellent talk and thank you Jack for allowing us to record it so those who missed it, or need to just remind themselves of the reproductive system of the female swamp kangaroo, will receive a link.
As is customary at this time of year, there is no August meeting, but the picnic will be held on Sunday, 6th August, just below Kenwood House. IRL Craftygoth and Bibliogoth will also happen, so bring along crafts, books, food and drink, and look for the patch of black below the trees...
* do not taser an echidna, not even at home ** Jack's book looks to be an ideal gift for the weird and wonderful in your life: Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals (2022)