The Björn Kurtén Club was founded originally by Mikael Fortelius on 1997. The original intention and activities back then were very similar to the present form and functions of the Club. In the beginning members included mainly PhD-students and focus was on free discussions and dialogue. The main goal was to promote the togetherness among palaeontologists and to discuss various matters related to palaeontology. Special lectures by visiting scientist were part of the program from the beginning. Among visitors who have given a presentation in the Björn Kurtén Club are Sir Nicholas Shackleton, Adrian Lister, Friedrich Steininger, Christine Janis and Meave Leakey.
The Club activities were on the low side in the beginning of the new millenium. The kick-start for the new active club was during the autumn of 2002, when Pirkko Ukkonen and Jussi Eronen convened the active researchers and students to discuss about the current state of palaeontology. The group decided to reincarnate the Björn Kurtén Club and enlarge the activities to include everybody interested about palaeontology. This was also visible in the activities during 2002-2004. The activities were many and diverse, and special importance was put on making the club more accessible for young students.
Since 2006 the club has again reformed itself. Nowadays we have regular meetings with presentations, and the meetings are also a platform for informal supervision of M.Sc and PhD students, where it is possible to get advise, guidance and peer-support. The focus is on regular meetings, but from time to time we organise short excursions. The Björn Kurtén Club also offers a platform and forum for special lectures of visiting scientists.
The best way to keep up with club activities is to join the Kurtén –club mailing list. This can be done by sending message subscribe kurten-klubi firstname.lastname@example.org to majordomo(at)helsinki.fi.
The fundamental purpose of the club has remained the same and will be preserved. We aspire to act as a connective link for all people interested in palaeontology. Our activities should be educational but at the same time they should be fun! We also try to include as many aspects of science as possible to achieve this aim to the fullest. Because some of the members are foreigners, the main language of the club is English. Most of the active members are university students or researchers, but we are an open society. Everybody interested is welcome!