We are delighted to welcome Dr James Kempton to talk to the Bodley Club about his life and career. James made national news after he led Expedition Cyclops, a scientific research expedition to the Cyclops Mountains of Indonesian New Guinea in Summer 2023. During four weeks of gruelling fieldwork, his team rediscovered Attenborough's long-beaked echidna, a species of egg-laying mammal not seen by science for 62 years, discovered two species of frog new to science, and dozens of new insect species - even new genera. The long-term aim of Expedition Cyclops is to inform a case for increased protection of the Cyclops Mountains, and James is working with Papuan NGOs, Papuan universities, and the Indonesian government to make this happen, including by training Papuan students in biodiversity survey techniques. Alongside Expedition Cyclops, James also researches malaria epidemiology and completed his DPhil on flight biomechanics. The Bodley Club was founded in 1894 as a literary discussion group, but has over the years developed into Merton College's speaker society. The only criterion for selecting speakers is that they should be "fabulously interesting", and the Club hosts prominent individuals from all fields, including authors, scientists, and other public figures.
Dr James Kempton on his life and career