Mike Horne FGS

Mike Horne geologist

Moore Medal acceptance speach read to the AGM of the Yorkshire Geological Society in December 2022

I consider it a great honour to be awarded the Moore Medal and thank the Council and members of the Yorkshire Geological Society. Over the years I have derived a lot of interest and pleasure from studying our local rocks and fossils and I have endeavoured to share the joy with others. I have been fortunate to have met like-minded people in the YGS and Hull Geological Society who share an enthusiasm for the geology of our region and volunteer their time to our scientific societies. Long may the fun continue!

I became interested in geology when I was thirteen, when I visited a disused quarry in the Cotswolds and found fossilised shells: I began to wonder why sea shells were in those rocks in a hill. I was fortunate that I attended a senior school that taught A level Geology and that my parents supported my hobby. Then I came to Hull to study for a degree taught by a marvellous group of lecturers and technicians, with other enthusiastic students. We even went on a field trip to Skye to celebrate our graduation!

Since then it has been a pleasure to give something back to our science through research and trying to share it with others. I would like to think that through the Hull Geological Society I have encouraged “citizen science” through the restart of the East Riding Boulder Committee and Roadshows. We have carried out research together, for example the HGS Centenary Chalk Project and Flamborough Quaternary Research Group. We also were early to adopt “open access” publishing of our journal, making it freely available on the internet in 1999. In 1987 we were asked to “adopt” and care for Rifle Butts SSSI and later the East Yorkshire RIGS Group was formed with the support of Hull Museum. I was lucky that the University of Hull allowed me to teach “adult education” classes, making use of their geology collection on an evening. I am particularly grateful to the Yorkshire Geological Society for their support of Yorkshire Geology Month since it started in 2005. None of this I could have done by myself.

My dyslexia has been a great asset. I have learnt my geology from fieldwork and specimens rather than reading books, and it still fuels my curiosity. It also means that I think in four dimensions; it makes perfect sense that that the fossil I found on a hillside was once a living animal in the sea a long time ago when that sea floor was somewhere quite distant from its present location. Also, my favourite form of teaching and passing on our science is to be drawing diagrams in the sand on a beach with a walking pole and then asking the group to search for something unusual. The dyslexia can be a drawback also, I have only just learnt how to spell Gryphaea correctly and I would find reading this precis to the meeting to be really difficult.

copyright Mike Horne 2022