Fungus Day


Minerva Scientifica is often mentioned on this site. Frances Lynch and Herbie Clarke created the organisation to speed the reputations of women scientists and composers, active in their own times but forgotten by history. The delayed first days of autumn found Minerva appropriately investigating Fungi and its historic study; aided by the eminent mycologist Professor Lynne Boddy.


An amazing one-hour online session was delivered almost entirely in song - by Frances herself, her splendid online choir (sounding quite Handelian at times) and the hard-working students of Hawkshead Primary School in the Lake District, who had somehow in lockdown isolation produced a 15-minute fungus cantata, 'The Mega-Song'. Their focus was on scientific research done locally in the Lake District by Beatrix Potter - yes, she of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck. But also a fungus-observer of historical significance. How many times have I exclaimed during a Minerva Scientifica session: "I never knew that".


Coming up now is the Beatrix Potter Fungi Song Competition - alert your primary school friends. Entries by 29th October. Prof. Boddy and I will be judging the entries, and the winning entries will be recorded and broadcast by Electric Voice Theatre.


Pictured - enormous patches of Laetiporus Sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods) appeared overnight in Kennington Park last month, to our general amazement.

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer