New president for ZSL promises public a gateway into conservation
Wednesday 16 June 2004
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), announces Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS as its new President, at its AGM yesterday; 15 June 2004
Following in the footsteps of figures such as Sir Stamford Raffles and Prince Phillip, Professor Bateson will head up ZSL's Council which is the governing body for London Zoo, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, the Institute of Zoology and global conservation programmes, leading each of them into the 21st Century and beyond.
Professor Bateson has been an active researcher in Zoology and Animal Behaviour at the University of Cambridge since 1963. He was made Professor of Ethology there in 1984 and was Provost of King's College from 1988-2003. In addition, Bateson was Biological Secretary of the Royal Society from 1998-2003. After ten years and two sessions as President, Sir Martin Holdgate retired and Sir Patrick Bateson officially succeeded him after the AGM yesterday.
"Today a visit to the zoo is no longer about elephant rides and ice creams; it has become a gateway into conservation," said the new President, "Over the past ten years ZSL has undergone a substantial evolution of its own, but its conservation work in the field and extensive research are still relatively unknown. During my Presidency, communication will be a key focus in offering the public a unique insight into biological conservation. We are keen to stimulate, educate and excite the public about the animal world."
Sir Patrick Bateson is a highly respected scientist working in the area of behavioural biology. Much of his research has been devoted to imprinting in birds, analysing its effects on young animals and its effect on mate choice in adults. He has also looked at the development of play in cats and the effect of parent-offspring relations on the pattern of development in mammals. He has also been deeply concerned with the ethics of using animals in research which led him to conduct a study of the welfare aspects of hunting red deer with hounds in the West of England.
The Presidency is a voluntary position, leading the 21 members of Council.
Notes to editors
Some of the Zoological Society of London's highlights:
1826 - The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is founded by Stamford Raffles
1828 - The Zoological Society of London is granted a Royal Charter by King George IV.
London Zoo opens to Fellows of the Society - the world's first scientific zoo.
1831 - Charles Darwin becomes a Fellow of ZSL. Thomas Huxley, President of ZSL champions Darwin's theory of evolution.
1847 - London Zoo admits paying visitors to aid funding.
1931 - Whipsnade Wild Animal Park opens - the world's first open zoological park.
1960 & 1961 - The Institute of Zoology is established. Lord Zuckerman, then Secretary of ZSL, raised funds from two medical foundations to found laboratories where scientists would be employed by ZSL and undertake research.
1962 - 'Caroline' an Arabian oryx is lent to the world herd in Phoenix, Arizona, the first international co-operative breeding programme.
1967 - Whipsnade breed the first cheetahs born in Europe.
1986 - ZSL co-ordinates the release of Pere David's deer in Da Feng, China. The release includes deer bred at Whipsnade.
1995 - The release of 100 sand gazelles into the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia - the world's largest release of captive-bred mammals.
1997 - His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh opens Whipsnade's new Elephant House.
1998 - The release of 4,000 rare British field crickets into southern England.
1999 - Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Millennium Conservation Centre, which houses the biodiversity exhibition, Web of Life, on 3rd June.
PRESIDENTS of the Zoological Society of London
Sir Stamford Raffles 1826
Marquess of Lansdowne 1827-31
Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby 1831-51
Prince Consort 1851-62
Sir George Clerk 1862-68
Viscount Walden, Marquess of Tweeddale 1868-78
Sir William H. Flower 1879-99
Duke of Bedford 1899-1936
Earl of Onslow 1936-42
Henry Maurice 1942-48
Duke of Devonshire 1948-50
Viscount Alanbrooke 1950-54
Sir Landsborough Thomson 1954-60
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1960-77
Lord Zuckerman 1977-84
Sir William Henderson 1984-89
Avrion Mitchison 1989-92
Field Marshal Sir John Chapple 1992-94
Sir Martin Holdgate 1994-2004
Professor Sir Patrick Bateson 2004-
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