School Natural History

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    PESSIMISTS who lament the alleged lack of interest shown by the modern schoolboy in natural history should read the current annual reports of two famous school natural history societies-the reports for 1938 of the Marlborough College Natural History Society and of the Rugby School Natural History Society. Each of these societies has existed long enough for its usefulness to be thoroughly tested, for the Marlborough report is the eighty-seventh, the Rugby one the seventy-second, and the internal evidence is that enthusiasm abounds and observations are made over a wide range of natural history subjects. The two societies seem to be run on quite different lines. At Rugby, activities centre in thirteen specialist sections, which arrange their own discussions and excursions, and meet in common only at the general lectures given by outside speakers. At Marlborough, there appear to be no lectures by outsiders, the members themselves are the lecturers, and there are but two sections, archaeological and natural science. This arrangement, while encouraging more general distribution of interests, has not affected the specialist labours of the members, for it is a remarkable record that from the pages of successive reports no fewer than seven hand-lists have been published, giving a wonderfully complete conspectus of the fauna and flora of the Marlborough district.

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    School Natural History. Nature 143, 935 (1939) doi:10.1038/143935a0

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