Photo credit: Caroline Forbes
For most of my working life, I occupied an office in London’s great Natural History Museum, tucked away from the gaze of the crowds, hidden away among the vast backroom collections. I am a paleontologist by trade, a researcher into ancient life, and an expert on a marvelous group of long-extinct animals: trilobites. When the museum stopped paying me, I wrote about life behind the scenes — where research science was paramount. Dry Storeroom No. 1
was my plea for sustaining study of the world’s fauna, flora, and fungi, and a celebration of the eccentric and extraordinary people working in the museum who made that knowledge possible.
However, a deeper itch needed to be scratched. Collections were all very well, but I wanted to revive the naturalist I had been when I was a boy entranced by just about everything alive...