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Welcome to the John Ray Society

What is the John Ray Society?

The John Ray Society is at the heart of the St Catharine’s Natural Sciences community. Over the year it organises a series of lectures, dinners and other events to not only help the scientists of the college get to know each other better, but also to broaden the scientific horizons of its members.

Every year we organise a series of lectures, including recently from Sir Harold Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

We are pleased to announce our first speaker of the year Dr. Silvia Vignolini from the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge. She will be giving a talk entitled “Structural Colours in Plants: Mechanisms and Functions” where she will describe the mechanisms responsible for structural colours, relate them to their biological function and provide insight on the development of such photonic structures in nature.
The talk will take place on tuesday the 24th October, starting at 7.15pm (with refreshments available from 7.00pm). The talk will be in the Ramsden Room.

How do I become a member?

Anyone who studies Natural Sciences, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering or Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at St Catharine’s is automatically a member of the John Ray Society.

Who was John Ray?

John Ray was a 17th century biologist, regarded by many as one the greatest naturalists that England has ever produced. He is principally known for his botanical achievements, starting with the “Cambridge Catalogue” of 1660, the first flora of any British country, in which he describes the plants found around Cambridgeshire.

By effectively starting the study of natural history in Britain, and providing useable reference guides, John Ray inspired generations of scientists and lay enthusiasts.

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