As curator of the Geological Museum in London in the 1970s and 80s, Fred Dunning, who has died aged 89, was responsible for moving that institution away from orderly display cases of rocks, minerals and fossils and towards something much more engaging.

Fred became curator of the museum in 1970 and immediately showed that he was eager to share the magic and mystery of geology not just with existing museum-goers but with a whole new audience. He wanted to make geological research accessible to visitors by using eye-catching displays, and so appointed the designer James Gardner to help him in his mission.

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