It could be you…

It could be you … it’s going to be someone.

Are you the person for one of the most important jobs in ornithology?

You might get about £80k for doing this job, which certainly isn’t overpaid for the complexity, importance and difficulty of the role.

A good interview question might be ‘In the 87-year history of the BTO, who have been the predecessors of the successful candidate?‘.

I can’t answer that question even after a bit of googling.

  • Andy Clements 2007-2020
  • Jeremy Greenwood 1988-2007
  • Raymond O’Connor 1978-1988
  • Jim Flegg 1968-1978
  • David Snow????

If that is about right then it takes us back 52 years with four blokes – I can’t imagine that if I could look further back I’d find that a woman was at the helm in the 1940s or 1950s so what are the odds that the successful candidate will be a woman?

It could be you…

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6 Replies to “It could be you…”

  1. Dr David Snow was Director of Research (when I was his Field Assistant before going to University – Robert Gillmor very kindly got me the job) and David Wilson was the General Secretary.

      1. Much of the early history of the BTO is outlined in the Poyser book “Enjoying Ornithology” edited by Ron Hickling. When I joined as a member, the Secretary, David Wilson, worked from a room at the EGI in Oxford, and the Ringing Scheme was headed by Robert Spencer from a small room at the Natural History Museum in London. Henry Mayer-Gross dealt with Nest Records, probably from his home in London. Later, Jim Flegg was the first “Director”. The Nature Conservancy had given the BTO a large grant for research, and it was a condition that someone with a PhD be appointed to oversee the spending of the public money.

        1. See also A History of Ornithology by Peter Bircham. Short of money, the BTO called in consultants and David Wilson was sacked in 1970 and the post of Secretary abolished. My recollection is that many people felt at the time that David Wilson, who had done so much to take the BTO forward including the move to Tring and the first Swanwick conferences, was badly treated.

  2. Was Max Nicholson in charge at the outset? He was certainly involved in setting it up, I think, as he was in so much else.

    1. Jonathan – he was very much involved in setting up the BTO but not,as I understand it, as a staff member.

      It’s interesting that the BTO website doesn’t have this informtion – it’s really quite refreshing in a way, in that the history of the BTO section is all about science and birds and hardly mentions the people doing any o it. I quite like that.

      It’s slightly surprising that nobody has added this type of information to the BTO wikipedia page.

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