Darwin, Hooker, and Empire

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 - 5:00pm6:30pm

Lecture: APS, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street
Tour: APS, Philosophical Hall, 104 S. Fifth Street

Darwin, Hooker, and Empire

Jim Endersby

Senior Lecturer, History, University of Sussex

Long before the Internet, Charles Darwin established an astonishing global network of correspondents that was essential to his work: collectors and missionaries, traders and diplomats, gardeners and pigeon-breeders, and scientific workers of every kind. Without these people, most of whom received no compensation for their work, Darwin’s ideas might never have been formulated or published, and he certainly would not have been able to persuade his scientific contemporaries of the validity of his ideas.

Perhaps the most important of Darwin's correspondents was Joseph Dalton Hooker, a traveller, plant collector, and botanist who evenutally became director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Hooker was the first man Darwin told about the theory of evolution by natural selection and became the first man of science to publicly defend Darwinism. Renowned historian and Darwin authority Jim Endersby shows how the 1300 letters the two men exchanged reveal the surprising links between science and empire, and how the private lives of these two men affected their public work, even shaping the language and philosophy of Origin of Species.
  

Cosponsored by the American Philosophical Society


 

"Dialogues with Darwin"
In this special guided tour of “Dialogues with Darwin” at the American Philosophical Society Museum, listen in on the "conversations" between Darwin and others on evolution and the profound social, scientific, and moral questions those dialogues raised. Led by APS Museum Director Sue Ann Prince, the exhibition tour begins at 3:30 pm. Then join us for Prof. Endersby's lecture in the historic APS Hall at 5:00. Tour spaces limited; please register early!