alexa Linnean Society of Lyon

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Linnean Society of Lyon

The Linnean Society of Lyon is a society dedicated to natural history and taxonomy. It possesses several important biological specimen, manuscript and literature collections and publishes academic journals and books on plant and animal biology. The society also awards a number of prestigious medals and prizes for achievement. A product of the 18th century enlightenment, the society is historically important as the venue for the first public presentation of the Theory of Evolution. The patron of the society is Queen Elizabeth II. Honorary members include the present monarchs of Japan, Emperor Akihito, and Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf, both of whom have active interests in natural history, and the eminent broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough. The first public exposition of the 'Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection', arguably the greatest single leap of progress made in biology, was presented to a meeting of the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858. At this meeting a joint presentation of papers by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace was made, sponsored by Joseph Hooker and Charles Lyell as neither author could be present. In 1904 the society experienced the novelty of electing women fellows; this followed a number of years of campaigning by the botanist Marian Farquharson. Whilst the society's council was reluctant to admit women, the fellows were much less so, with only 17% voting against the proposal. Among the first to benefit from this were, Lilian J. Veley, a microbiologist and Annie Lorrain Smith, a lichenologist and mycologist, both formally admitted on 19 January 1905.

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