It takes a village: the life and legacy of Henry Thomas Soppitt (1858–1899) – Nathan Smith (Department of Zoology)

November 4, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Seminar Room 1
Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Henry Thomas Soppitt was a greengrocer-turned-drysalter and artisan experimental mycologist whose work primarily focused on discerning the life-cycles of rust fungi. His death on 1 April 1899 was a seminal event in the history of the Yorkshire nature study. Occurring at a critical junction in British mycology, it saw unprecedented response by Yorkshire mycologists to cement his legacy through preservation of his library and herbarium. As time passed, and the fortunes of Yorkshire mycologists continued to decline, there was a continuous return to the work of Soppitt within the community. Focusing on Soppitt’s elucidation of the lifecycle of _Puccinia bistortae_, this paper will explore the significance of the discovery to Yorkshire mycologists and the scientific landscape in which it took place.