TALK in London & Oxford: "Indefatigable Naturalists: Wallace and Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail" by Jim Costa

On 24 and 30 July 2014, Jim Costa will be delivering a paper on Wallace and Darwin entitled “Indefatigable Naturalists: Wallace and Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail” in both London and Oxford.

Here is the abstract:

Alfred Russel Wallace was the last of the great Victorian naturalists, and by the end of his long life in 1913 he was also one of the most famous scientists in the world, lauded by leading learned societies, British royalty and US Presidents alike. Against all odds—lacking wealth, formal education, social standing or connections—Wallace became the pre-eminent tropical naturalist of his day. He founded one entirely new discipline—evolutionary biogeography—and, with Darwin, co-founded another: evolutionary biology. Yet today Darwin’s name is universally recognised, while Wallace is all but unknown. Jim traces the independent development of Wallace’s and Darwin’s evolutionary insights, exploring the fascinating parallels, intersections and departures in their thinking.

Drawing on Wallace’s “Species Notebook” (the most important of Wallace’s field notebooks kept during his southeast Asian explorations of the 1850s) Costa puts Wallace’s thinking into a new light in relation to that of his more illustrious colleague. He also examines the ups and downs of Wallace’s relationship with Darwin, and critically evaluates the misleading “conspiracy theories” that Wallace was wronged by Darwin and his circle over credit for the discovery of natural selection. Tracing the arc of Wallace’s reputation from meteoric rise in the 19th century to virtual eclipse in the 20th, Costa restores Wallace to his proper place in the limelight with Darwin.

Jim will deliver the paper first at Oxford at 7pm on 24 July in the Geoffrey Thomas Lecture Theatre at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford. OX1 2JA. See map below.

He will then deliver the paper again at 4.30pm on 30 July in the Flett Theatre at the Natural History Museum, London. See map below.
This second talk at the NHM is the first of the revived annual A. R. Wallace Lecture series first set up by George Beccaloni and Sandy Knapp of the NHM.

Both events are free of charge. You do not need to book tickets for either.

The Annual A. R. Wallace Lecture is organised by the Wallace Correspondence Project.

Map for Oxford event:
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Map for London event:

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