Emeritus Professor Libby Robin ‘What Birdo is that? Birds and the humans who love them’

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Thursday, 9 November 2023 - 12:30pm
Cover of 'What Birdo is that' book
Cover of 'What Birdo is that' book


Libby explores the interplay between knowing about birds and caring about their future. Bird-people are motivated in different ways, but they all love birds. For many, birds are a way they understand the more-than-human world. Birds and their people can be funny, intriguing and surprising. Her talk tells some of the back-stories from across centuries. It builds to a crescendo in the 21st century where global warming and biodiversity loss have become existential threats to life on Earth.

Booking link: https://www.trybooking.com/CJTZB


Emeritus Professor Libby Robin FAHA is an historian of science and environmental ideas. She is Emeritus Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, independent writer and Curator-at-Large, focusing on museums and global change.

Career highlights include Visiting Fellow, Oslo School of Environmental Humanities, University of Oslo (2022-- ), Guest Professor at  the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in the Division of History of Science and Technology (2011-2014; affiliated professor (2015-2017) and Senior Fellow in the National Museum of Australia's Research Centre (2007-2015). Libby has published widely in the history of science, international and comparative environmental history, museum studies and the ecological humanities. She has won national and international prizes in History (How a Continent Created a Nation), in Zoology (Boom and Bust), and in literature (Flight of the EmuThe Future of Nature).

She was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2013.

Libby Robin is also an independent non-fiction writer and prize-winning author whose work explores museums and environmental ideas. She works with museums in Australia, Germany, Estonia and Norway. Her books include The Flight of the Emu (2001), How a Continent Created a Nation (2007) and The Environment: A History of the Idea (2018). Libby's new book What Birdo is That? A Field Guide to Bird People was released on 30 May 2023.


Lunchtime talks are held at 12.30 pm every Thursday from February to November. Talks last for 1 hour. We welcome donations by gold coins, notes, or electronically. The Friends use donations received at each talk to support Gardens’ programs and development, and thank all those who have donated. 

Unless otherwise indicated, talks are held in the ANBG Theatrette.

It is a good idea to reserve a seat at the talks that you wish to attend; talks may be booked out very quickly.  Bookings can be made from the 6th October until the Wednesday night before the talk or until seating limits are reached. 

Booking link: https://www.trybooking.com/CJTZB

The Friends of the ANBG thank the speakers who volunteer their time and talents to further the knowledge of all attending events in the Gardens. Some summaries or PowerPoint presentations of Thursday talks are available to Friends at the ANBG library. Please direct queries about the talks to the Thursday Talks Team: email talks@friendsanbg.org.au.

The talks are in line with COVID-19 guidelines which can change rapidly.