About the Cabinet

The “Cabinet of Natural History: The Cambridge Group for the History of Natural History and the Environmental Sciences” is a seminar series at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. It was initially started as a place where members of the department could present work in progress in an informal setting and receive help and comments from a friendly audience. Since then, it has developed into a more extensive series that runs each year, inviting speakers from other departments in the university as well as other universities in the UK and even abroad. The range of topics that talks cover is very wide, though loosely chosen to fit in with the history of natural history, broadly construed. The emphasis of the sessions is on discussion, so talks take up roughly half of the hour, and the rest is free for what often develop into very engaging and valuable discussions.

As well as the sessions, we have several events each year.  An annual Fungus Hunt that occurs in Michaelmas terms sees an intrepid band of staff and students led by Nick Jardine scouring nearby woods for obscure or edible fungi. The Cabinet field trip varies in date, but we have had trips to Down House, Orford Ness and Sutton Hoo. Finally, the Cabinet garden party in Easter Term rounds off the year, and includes a special talk by a Cabinet member.

Seminars are held during term time throughout the year on Mondays in Seminar room 1, at 1pm. Visitors and members of the University from other departments are very welcome. Many people bring their lunch, preferably not overly noisy ones!

If you would like to speak at the Cabinet, please contact the current secretary, Laura Brassington at: lb685@cam.ac.uk

Albrecht Dürer's Walrus

Walrus, Albrecht Dürer c.1521


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