Governance of the Society

The Society is governed by a Council, including six Honorary Officers: President, Treasurer, Scientific (2), Editorial and Collections Secretaries.

The Council is advised by a wide range of Committees. The membership of these committees is not confined to Fellows, and scientists and experts of all disciplines assist the work of the Society by freely and readily making their services available.

The governance of The Linnean Society is set out in the Charters and Bye-Laws. 

President of the Linnean Society

The current President, whose term began on 22nd May 2015 is Professor Paul Brakefield Professor of Zoology and Director, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.


The Honorary Officers are vital in the day to day running of the Linnean Society. Follow this link to find out more about our current Officers.


Council consists of 20 elected Fellows, including the Officers. Our 20 members of Council are experts in a diverse range of discipline within the field of Natural History. Find out more about current Council Members.

The Society aims to maintain a balance between the different branches of biology so by convention the Presidency alternates between a zoologist and a botanist/mycologist, as do several of the Society’s prizes.

The Society aims to be open and transparent in its elections. Full details of candidates for election to Council are published in the Anniversary Meeting Agenda and any member who has been admitted and attends the Anniversary Meeting can vote. Council members are carefully briefed on their duties as Trustees of the Society which is a registered charity No. 220509.

The Executive Secretary is happy to answer any questions about the governance of the Society.