University of Plymouth Iain Stewart is Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, UK, and Director of its Sustainable Earth Institute. His academic interests in applying Earth science to pressing societal concerns - climate change, geo-resources, geo-energy, disaster risk reduction - form the basis of his 2018 recognition as UNESCO Chair in ‘Geoscience and Society’.

Iain’s academic roots are in active tectonics and geohazards. After completing a BSc in Geography and Geology at Strathclyde University (1986), and a PhD in earthquake geology at the University of Bristol (1990), he taught Earth sciences at Brunel University, west London, until 2002. In 2004, he joined the University of Plymouth, where he developed his interdisciplinary interests in ‘geo-communication’. 

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University of Exeter Patrick Devine-Wright is in the top 1% of environmental social science scholars globally (2019, Web of Science). With expertise spanning Human Geography and Environmental Psychology, he conducts theoretically-driven yet relevant research, often in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary settings. Across local, national and international contexts, he is engaged in efforts to ensure social science insights inform decisions on a range of environmental challenges, notably climate change.

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Two of the three Founding Fathers of the Devonshire Association were elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society, the mark of outstanding scientific excellence in Britain. William Pengelly is widely recognised as a geologist and a pioneer of Palaeolithic archaeology, but Charles Spence Bate, the Association’s equally distinguished second President, is far less well known today.

He was in his time the foremost authority – possibly in the world – on Crustacea, the immense animal group that ranges from tiny planktonic copepods to giant crabs via shrimps, woodlice, and barnacles, on which latter he corresponded with Darwin, a specialist in the group. His mammoth report on 2,000 specimens from the Challenger expedition of 1873-6 took him ten years, and his two volume monograph, with the entomologist J. O. Westwood, on the British sessile-eyed Crustacea was the standard work for more than a century.

Bate, Charles Spence – The Devonshire Association (

JOHN JAMES ALEXANDER, M.A., F.R.Hist. SOC., J.P., was the eldest surviving son of Joseph Alexander, J.P.; his mother was Mary Frances Gouldsbury Long, daughter and heiress of Francis Gouldesbury Long, M.D., of Heath Hill, Co. Donegal. Mr. Alexander was born 12th November 1865 at Imlick House, near Carrigans, in the same county, and went to school first at the Academy and then at Foyle College, in Londonderry, from which he proceeded to Queen’s College, Belfast in 1883, and St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1887. During the period of his education he won at least thirteen exhibitions and scholarships, in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He took first class degrees at the Royal University of Ireland in 1886, 1889, and was finally eighth wrangler at Cambridge, in 1890, proceeding M.A. of the latter university in 1895.

Alexander, J. J. – The Devonshire Association (

Members [of the Devonshire Association] who attended the Annual Meeting of the Association in Tiverton in 1974 will recall with pleasure the inauguration of Sir Richard Acland as President, and the memorable Presidential Address he gave on that occasion. Taking ‘Six Generations of Change’ as his theme, Sir Richard argued that change ‘does not take place by benign consensus of all concerned’ but ‘emerges out of a struggle of contrary ideas and opposing intentions’, to which he added the comment that ‘there is a continual and mutual interaction between the material things around us and our own ideas, feelings and beliefs’. This, he worked out through a close examination of the contribution made, through six generations of his own family, in public life and to the development of education in this country from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

Acland, Richard Thomas Dyke – The Devonshire Association (

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and his concern for the environment. He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish FightHugh’s War on Waste and his latest, Britain’s Fat Fight and, his latest, War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita.

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Devonshire Association "William Pengelly, F.R.S., F.G.S., Father of the Devonshire Association (1912)" By Mrs. Hester Forbes Julian (Née Pengelly). (Read at Exeter, 24th July, 1912.)

Having frequently been asked by members of the Association to contribute a paper on the life and work of my dear father, it seems specially appropriate and suitable to do so in this year, which not only marks the Jubilee of the Devonshire Association, but also the centenary of its founder, William Pengelly, and the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society, of which he was a distinguished Fellow. It seems also specially appropriate that this meeting should be held in our own Cathedral city, for we all feel that in coming to Exeter we are coming home.

Obituary Published in DA Transactions, 1992. President of the Devonshire Association in 1978

Professor W. G. Hoskins, one of England’s greatest economic and social historians, pioneered the subject of landscape history and revolutionised the study of local history. But, as the success of his two major television series in the 1970s suggested, his larger achievement was to have left us all incomparably richer in our understanding of the past all around us.

Devon played a large part in all this. Born in Exeter in 1908, the son and grandson of Exeter bakers, Hoskins was educated at Hele’s School and the University College of the South West. From his earliest years he developed a passionate interest in the Devon landscape, which provided much of the raw material for his thinking and writing. He began to ask questions about the apparently ordinary elements of the local landscape: its field banks and boundaries, its deep sunken lanes, its isolated farmsteads hidden down long muddy tracks.

Hello, my name is Maisie Frost and I am the Member of Youth Parliament for North Devon. I was elected in February 2020, but unless you found my Youth Parliament Instagram (@myp_maisie) you probably haven’t heard anything from me since then. My job is to represent the young people in North Devon. And I hope that you feel that I am trying to do that. Always contact me if there is anything I should be doing better or that you want to see happening or even just for a chat! With COVID-19 and lockdown everything has been very different to how we expected and to be honest we have only just got used to it and worked out how we can work around it. It’s still a lot harder and we are all trying hard to find ways to continue working and taking action. I apologise for not updating and connecting sooner but hopefully this is the start of regular updates and connections with you guys- my constituents! I will try not to make this too long as I know no one can be bothered to read pages and pages of writing.

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Obituary Text published in DA Transactions, 1949.

MISS ETHEL CLELIA LEGA-WEEKES, F.R.HIST.S., died at Varnello, her home in Exeter, on 7th April, 1949, after a very short illness, aged 85. Born in London to an American father, Ansel Weekes, master mariner, by an English mother, Clelia Lega, née Fletcher, Miss Lega-Weekes, through her maternal grandparents, was descended from William Fletcher and Antonio Zombelli, the faithful servants of Lord Byron in Italy and Greece. Educated at Aramattapoisett, Mass., she came to England as a student in the art schools. Domestic influences, mainly those of her Italian grandmother, fostered her intense interest in mediaevalism. From genealogical research she gradually turned to the detail of local history. She settled with her mother (who kept her in perpetual tutelage) in Exeter, and made a close study of the civic and ecclesiastical history of the city.

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