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Beth Kidd

Beth Kidd is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Science at UCL’s Science and Technology Studies Department, in partnership with the Royal Society. She also holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in English from Magdalen College, Oxford, where, in receipt of an Ertegun Humanities Scholarship, she specialized in botanical literature and plant taxonomy of the seventeenth century. At UCL, using archival material from the Royal Society, her research examines how expenditure on early science was justified and critiqued according to shifting moral, commercial, and cultural norms, with a particular focus on natural history collecting. She was a recent participant in the Plant Humanities Summer Program at Dumbarton Oaks.  

Botanical illustration of Sisymbrium irio Linnaeus (unknown artist, 1896-1898)

Plant of the Month: London Rocket

London rocket was observed in abundance following the Great Fire of London in 1666, but why does this non-native weed still interest English botanists?