We were extremely delighted to hear earlier this week that Sir David Attenborough has enthusiastically agreed to become the Patron of our project. Sir David, who needs no introduction, is a great admirer of ARW, as he recently revealed in a BBC Radio 4 programme about Wallace in the series "David Attenborough's Life Stories". Sadly this programme is no longer available to listen to, but here is a quote from the programme's website:
"It was the great travel books written in the 19th century by Alfred Russel Wallace that inspired David Attenborough himself to achieve great things in the realm of natural history. But Attenborough tells us that Wallace was more than just a great travel writer. His power of meticulous observation and recording as he explored many parts of the world were in the highest league imaginable, even for Victorian standards - and his power of analysis very much akin with Darwin, his great contemporary. Wallace independently came up with a theory of evolution that was in parallel to Darwin's thinking - two field naturalists breaking huge conventions of the time and coming up with the single most important theory in Biology."
Sir David has recently given an excellent talk at several venues, ranging from the Royal Geographical Society in London, to the University of Cape Town, South Africa entitled 'Alfred Russel Wallace and the Birds of Paradise', and the good news is that you can see it here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/graduation/Video/davidattenborough/ or listen to it here: http://struiknature.book.co.za/blog/2011/04/15/sir-david-attenborough-lecture-at-uct-alfred-russel-wallace-and-the-birds-of-paradise-listen-to-the-podcast/ (scroll down the page).
We thank Sir David very much indeed for agreeing to become our patron and we also thank Dr Andy Polaszek (Keeper of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, London) for asking Sir David for patronage on behalf of the WCP.