The Beagle Campaign 22Mar09

A group of us have just launched the Beagle Campaign ( to try to encourage the Royal Geographical Society to put expeditions back in the field. Simply put, the planet needs you! And we need your support…. There’s a good feature in the FT this weekend about it (read here) – and full details on our website… VIVA LA EVOLUTION!

Since its foundation in 1830, The Royal Geographical Society’s lifeblood has been scientific field research – exploration and expeditions. However, for the past ten years, the Society has failed to mount a single major expedition of its own. We, the Beagle Campaign, joined by over 80 distinguished figures in the fields of exploration, geography, science, literature and travel – all Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society – think this is unacceptable.

We are simply asking the RGS to honour its obligations as set out in its Royal Charter of 1859 ‘for the advancement of geographical science’ and ‘greatly extending geographical knowledge.

As the name of our campaign suggests, we are not revolutionaries, but ‘evolutionaries’ – we commend the RGS for their ongoing and brilliant academic work but, now, more than ever, we need the RGS to be mounting their own significant expeditions. Look at the state of our world if you need any convincing for the need to have scientists out in the world contributing new knowledge about planet earth and solutions for how to fix it. The future of the planet deserves nothing less.

Full details about how you can get involved are on our website: - the long and the short of it is that it will go to a vote with the RGS Fellowship – so if you know anyone who’s a Fellow please let them know about the campaign… we, the planet, needs your help… many thanks.


23 Responses to “The Beagle Campaign”

  1. Abby Says:

    hey Olly.. I’m trying to pledge my support but every time I try to send my info it gives me an error

  2. Rachel Says:

    I love what you guys do. Being born in Brazil myself, gives me a warm feeling inside to watch you two.

    I have to say Olly – you are a sight for sore eyes.


  3. Glenda Says:

    Hi olly all is going well the info is very helpful thank you:-) I volunteer at sxsw this week in austin tx it was a good experience for me .And you have my support for the Beagle campaign I would like to help anyway I can Hope in the not to distant future I can go on a expedition that would be cool.Have not missed a ep of the machigenga .

  4. Renata Says:

    OI Olly,
    Viva La Evolution!
    Great campaign, I am very happy and proud to a part of it, even if it’s a small one.
    You can not fight to protect what you don’t know so I agree that one of the most significant names in nature preservation and research should be active and on ground as much as possible, and the fact that it has been more than a decade since the last expedition it makes this campaign that much more important.
    I noticed that next week it will be your last show with the machiguenga I am very sad to not have your show on Sunday nights and have your new blog on Mondays. I can only hope you will keep introducing us new material on your blog about the different project you have.
    I have to say I am very thankful for catching the show and finding this blog, sound corny I know, but this experience turned a little key back on… When I was a kid I was a huge science lover, my big thing was watching these discovery videos that my dad use to bring for me. I was always fascinated about all things related to nature science and societies, how everything in nature is related to something else and how all can exist, transform, live and die.
    I use to love reading National Geographic and see how immense and diverse the planet actually is. Read about people on expeditions to the North Pole with not more than some food and a flashlight basically and I use to think to myself. WOW those people are the real thing; they are actually doing something that matters. These people have something that they believe is bigger than themselves and it worth to put their lives on hold because there was a story worth been told.
    I used to dream big and think all was possible, but then you grow up and forget about that love you had when you were a kid, you try not to get involved because it will take too much of your time and you just don’t want to try and not make it.
    Now I feel like getting involved again, I am still not the idealist I used to be but at least I can put a conscious effort on doing my part, as big or as small that might be.
    Well what I wanted to say before all this non sense that you are probably bored of reading is that I want to thank you for giving a damn while I wasn’t and I would like if it’s possible, for you to keep us posted after your adventure in the machiguenga is over.
    Thanks for your time and your thoughts, good luck on your journey and I hope the plans that you are fighting for take off.

  5. Mo Says:

    did someone say Beagle!?

    It’s a pleasure to show my support for this.


  6. Jennifer Says:

    Darwin would be proud:

  7. Ana Maria Says:

    Hopefully, the Beagle Project will garner much positive attention. Please consider me a supporter.

  8. Lissa Says:

    Hi Olly,
    Good luck with the Beagle Campaign. It’s all for a good cause. Count me in as a supporter as well.
    Just want to ask, how did you become a fellow of the RGS? What was your first exploration?

  9. Carmen Says:

    Hi Olly,

    What reason does the RGS give for not wanting to directly fund the expeditions? They seem content to just fund them secondarily and hesitant to do so directly. Do they give an explanation for that? It seems odd that after ages of funding extraordinary expeditions they would just let it all fall by the wayside and take a backseat on that.

    You’re one ambitious man, Olly!! Good luck with this endeavor!! I hope you succeed.

    Viva La Evolution!

  10. Michelle Says:

    Yeah Olly!!!!

    Thank you for bringing this to the forfront. It’s time to stop being afraid of what is out there and just go for it, there is so much of the world yet to be explored. Count me a supporter and good luck…

  11. Carmen Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Olly, I hope you don’t mind me passing this on, but I’m sure you have a lot of people out there who would love to hear this…

    Olly will be on NPR tomorrow (Wed. 25th) on a program called Here On Earth at 3:00p.m. Central time. I don’t know if this is a nationally syndicated program or if it just airs in Wisconsin, however you can listen online at You will then have two options… classical or “wpr ideas network”, you will want the ideas network. (you will need “real player” which is downloadable for free right on the sight if you don’t already have it) Remember this is 3:00p.m. Central time. Have fun listening!

    Olly, thanks so much for doing this! I hope it goes really well for you and that we Wisconsinites don’t go too hard on you. ;o} Jean Feraca does a wonderful program. I’ll be listening for sure… Good Luck!!! (I want you to become a regular!)


  12. Kat Says:


    I admire your passion, you have my complete support for this cause.

    Carmen – Thanks for the link, I will be tuning in for the broadcast.


  13. Carmen Says:

    Good job, Olly. I e-mailed with a question and they didn’t get to it. Boo hoo. :o{


  14. Ana Maria Says:

    Hi, Olly. Tried the link. Didn’t work for me here in Southern California. Any chance of getting a soundcast posted on this blog? I looked for your comments on Episode 7… are you planning to post later? Not much in Wisconsin, but I hope you enjoyed the trip anyway if you made it there in person. People in the Midwest are the backbone of America…good folk there. I know from experience.

  15. cam Says:

    I’d like to hear more about your trip through the Gobi desert. That sounds like quite an adventure.

  16. Paul in Iowa, US Says:

    Hi Olly, loved hearing from you in length on NPR radio today. I was the last person to call you but immediately after the show I realized I shouldn’t have asked my planned question after I was told I was going to be the last caller. I should have simply summed up for all the listeners how much we really appreciate your journalistic adventures. You present the world with a new and very personal vision. You inspire us to want to do the same.

    Even though I haven’t been appointed by the masses to speak for them I know they will agree with me when I ask, “when are you going to write that book?” And I don’t mean strictly a book about the tribes you’ve visited. You need to write one about all of your adventures! Your race across the Sahara, traversing the Gobi, your news reporting experiences from all corners of the globe—it all needs to be there. With your informative and humorous writing style it’s sure to be a hit.

    Take care, stay safe and start writing!

  17. Lissa Says:

    Hi again Olly,
    Great interview on Here On Earth! I missed the live broadcast, but was able to catch the replay at 9 pm Central time. As for my question above, I learned from your interview that your first expedition was your walk across the Gobi Desert. I won’t give away too much for I’m not sure if you are planning to put it up on your website for those who missed it.

    I however vaguely heard at the end of the program that CD of your broadcast with Jean Feraca could be purchased (show # 325 K… I think). I missed the number to call to get the CD, but she kept mentioning 1-877-GLOBE-07 during the program. Please fellow bloggers don’t blame me if I got some of the info wrong… just trying to be helpful. Perhaps Carmen could confirm for us all? I also thank you Carmen for the link.

  18. Carmen Says:

    Hi Lissa, I’m not sure about a CD, but you can download the interview by going to Click on Here on Earth with Jean Feraca and it will lead you through the steps, however, I’m afraid you do need to be a member to get the downloads. (Not absolutely sure on that) I think even a few dollars will do the trick, though. To download it, you just find Olly’s program by date (3-25-09, at the moment it’s right on top). All the other numbers you listed are correct, so if you wanted a CD it wouldn’t hurt to give them a call to see if that’s an option.

    Ana Maria, sorry the link didn’t work for you. I don’t know why it wouldn’t have linked you right to it. Hope it worked for everyone else…
    Also, I highly doubt that Olly was here in FABULOUS Wisconsin. LOL! ;o} Yes, I’ve definitely lived in more exciting areas, but it’s beautiful here, nicer people and a much less stressful way of life than the rat race/circus atmosphere of the Baltimore/D.C. area where I had live for years. I do miss the excitement sometimes (particularly of D.C.) but this is where I’ll stay to raise my daughter.

    I hope some of that info was helpful. You can always go to and fish around if you need more info.

    Carmen :o)

  19. Carmen Says:

    That number for the CD is 1-800-747-7444 :o}

  20. Lissa Says:

    Thanks Carmen for following up on how to get the CD.

  21. Angela Says:


    I whole heartedly agree with Paul. It would be great if you could write a book about all your travels. It would be very informative yet entertaining. You impact so many people’s lives by sharing your travels through documentaries, your show on Travel Channel as well as your journals. You inspire us to think and care for others on the other side of the world. You’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg!

    Now that the Machigenga series is coming to an end I look forward to viewing some of your other documentaries that you have done in the past. Bushmen etc…

    Write the book already…..

  22. Gabby Anderson Says:


    I admire what you do and how you present yourself with how you do it because you are funny and I think that is why peple watch your shows and listen to you. Well that and it informs us of what is going on in the world and it’s not boring to watch. Plus you are really cute. Anyways I love the Beagle Campaign because I believe in what they do and you have my support 110%. I kind of don’t want to make this boring to read but I just have to let you know that I am about to graduate from college and right now because of you I am going to be a journalist like you because you inspired me to become one. Well I am going to be a cool like you not a boring one that makes people fall asleep within the first minute. Sorry I am really tired right now writting this because I just got back from singing in England at this one fancy place and I think I might move there because it is a very beautiful place.

    PS: I am not a stalker


  23. Angela Says:

    Hi Olly, both my husband and I pledged our support. Please let us know if there is anything further we can do to assist in the campaign.

    Please do let us know when your China film comes out, we would love to see it.

    Thank you for all you do. Take care and safe travels…..

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