Close of Festival Talk – Sir Ghillean Prance and Richard Lane. Sunday 5th May 3 – 4pm

To wrap up the festival we will be hosting these two highly regarded speakers.

Sunday 5th May 3 – 4pm in the Marine Theatre

Free entry

Sir Ghillean Prance, former Director of The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and Richard Lane, former Director of Science at the Natural History Museum will be hosting a discussion focussing on ‘Thinking like a scientist’ and how it has shaped their fascinating and stimulating career paths.

Travel, curiosity and inventiveness have shaped the careers of both Ghillean and Richard and they will be closing this year’s festival with a session explaining how they have worked extensively throughout the world, particularly in the Amazon.


Professor Sir Ghillean Prance FRS 


Former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In his 39 expeditions to Amazonia he collected over 350 new species of plants. He is the author of 23 books and over 600 scientific and general articles, holds 15 honorary doctorates and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He received the International Cosmos Prize from Japan in 1993 and the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1999.

He was made a Commander of the Order of the Southern Cross by the President of Brazil and received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan. He continues to be active in the conservation of the tropical rainforest. He is a board member of the US National Tropical Botanical Garden, and until recently of the Exbury Gardens Trust. He is President of the Wildflower Society, The Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust, Nature in Art and the International Tree Foundation.






Dr Richard Lane OBE


A scientist with an interest in natural history and tropical diseases, and recently retired as the Director of Science at the Natural History Museum.

He chaired the OECD’s Global Science Forum initiative on Scientific Collections and was a co-founder of the Consortium for the DNA Barcode of Life.

Previously he was Director of International Programmes at the Wellcome Trust, where he funded research tackling major health problems. He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization and currently acts as an advisor to Governments, museums, scientific organisations and charities. He is a trustee of the Against Malaria Foundation