Clarence Bicknell - Citizen Scientist. Paper by Mauro Mariotti

Écrit par Marcus Bicknell le .

mauro mariotti jan2019It's a year since that wonderful conference at the Hanbury Gardens on 26 January 2019! Time to celebrate with this remarkable paper by Mauro Mariotti. For the first time we heard the title

"Clarence Bicknell - Citizen Scientist".

What is meant by that? Mariotti says "In recent times the term citizen science has been coined to indicate that complex of activities related to scientific research involving simple citizens or, better, "scientific activity in which non-professional scientists voluntarily participate in the collection and analysis of data, the development of technologies, the evaluation of natural phenomena, and their dissemination" and that Clarence Bicknell fits the description and more.

This is rare and very valuable contribution by Professor Mauro Mariotti (photo, left, at the event). He is not only Director of the Hanbury Botanical Gardens but also Director of the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Ambiente e Vita at the Università degli Studi di Genova (therefore the de facto curator of their collection of some thirteen thousand Clarence Bicknell watercolours, rock engraving copies, field diaries and plant samples).

You can read Professor Mariotti's paper in full, in English or Italian, at

hanbury bicknell 26jan2019

The Jan 2019 event was the last of the 40 events in eight countries marking the Clarence Bicknell 2018 Centenary, but by some measures one of the best. I had been keen for several years, since hosting the friends of the Hanbury Gardens in London in 2016 and hearing their presentations at the Italian Institute, to be able to have a Bicknell-Hanbury event at the famous Hanbury Gardens. Prior to Mariotti, Carolyn Hanbury welcomed us with some introductory remarks.

Thereafter, Dssa. Daniela Gandolfi, head of the International Institute of Ligurian Studies and of the Museo Bicknell which it owns, was fully justified blowing the trumpet in her paper about their contribution to the 2018 Clarence Bicknell Centenary. Their efforts in putting together their exhibition, for which Daniela as director was supported over the preparation period of two years by a team of staff and volunteers such as (those I know and have mutually supported) Franca Porra, Elena Riscosso, Bruna Di Paoli, Dr Giovanni Russo, Claudio Roggero, Gisella Merello, and others. The exhibition, whose run had just been extended to the end of March 2019 and which then move don the Finale Ligure. It included classic material from the Museo, loan items from collections like the Bicknell Collection which I look after and new items (Lotto 2017) purchased by the IISL. Claudia Littardi presented a paper on the plants of the garden of the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera and Alessandro Bartoli, the chairman of the event and secretary of the Amici dei Giardini Botanici Hanbury, presented a beautifully-illustrated paper on Foreigners in Liguria in the 19th and 20th Centuries, for which we are seeking permission to publish on along with the papers from Messrs. Gandolfi and Littardi.

I, Marcus Bicknell, spoke on Clarence Bicknell and Sir Thomas Hanbury: what sort of friends would they have been?

You can read my full report on the conference at

You can read my paper on the relationship between Bicknell and Hanbury at

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