Richard Fortey retired from his position as senior palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in 2006. His previous books include the critically acclaimed Life: An Unauthorized Biography, shortlisted for the Rhône-Poulenc Prize in 1998, Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2001, The Hidden Landscape, which won the Natural World Book of the Year in 1993 and Fossils – A Key to the Past which is now in its third edition. He also won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Science Writing in 2003. He was Collier Professor for the Public Understanding of Science in 2002, has been elected to be President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year of 2007, and is a member of the Royal Society. His latest book is Dry Store Room no 1 – The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum.