Invitation to a Public Lecture of The Life and Work of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer

The Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy Of Science Of South Africainvite you to a free public lecture by Professor Mike Bruton, former director of the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology entitled Curator and Crusader: The Life and Work of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer.

One of Cape Town’s most prolific authors, Mike Bruton, has penned a sequel to one of South Africa’s most compelling scientific discoveries: the saving of the coelacanth. In this tome he uncovers the fascinating life story of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. Not only did she save the coelacanth for Science, but she was the first bird ringer in South Africa and endured rugged expeditions to collect specimens for the East London museum which she curated. She was an important researcher on flowers (she has a Lachenalia named in her honour), as well as fossils, birds and isiXhosa customs. From child prodigy to a world-famous scientist, despite great hardships in her life, her extraordinary story is told with Mike’s legendary attention to detail. The book will be available for R200 at the launch.

About the speaker

Mike Bruton was born in East London where he first met Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, and the coelacanth, as a budding young naturalist. He studied ichthyology at Rhodes University and served as director of the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology. He was also the Education Director of the Two Oceans Aquarium and started the Cape Town Science Centre. He has published his autobiography, When I was a Fish and three other compelling reads: The Annotated Four Legs: The Updated Story of the Coelacanth, as well as The Amazing Coelacanth and The Fishy Smith: A Biography of JLB and Margaret Smith.

Date:     Wednesday 18 September 2019

Time:    17h00 (Tea will be served from 16h30)

Place:    South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory*

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).                           PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF DRIVEWAYS