The Society for the History of Natural History invites submissions to the William T. Stearn Student Essay Prize Competition. The prize will be awarded to the best original, unpublished essay in the history of natural history. It is named in honour of the late William T. Stearn, a scholar whose work contributed much to the field and to this Society.

The competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in full- or part-time education. Entries will be considered by a panel of three judges appointed by the Council of the Society. The winner will receive £300 and the winning essay will normally be published in the Society’s journal, Archives of natural history.

The deadline for entries is 30 June 2008. The rules of the competition and the entry form can be downloaded from the SHNH website (, which also contains information about the Society, membership benefits and details of SHNH activities.

The 2007 Stearn Prize Essay, ‘Siren canora: The mermaid and the mythical in late-nineteenth-century science’ by Heather Brink Roby, will appear in Archives of natural history Volume 35, Part 1.