‘Rethinking the Darwinian Revolution’

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Presenter:  Professor Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science Harvard University, United States

Date: Jul 30, 2014

Time: 10:30am to 11:30am

Contact person:  Katrina Britnell
T: 08 8946 7468
E: katrina.britnell@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Red Room), Northern Institute , Charles Darwin University - Casuarina Campus

Target audience:  All Welcome

'Rethinking the Darwinian Revolution'

Professor Janet Browne

Aramont Professor of the History of Science Harvard University, United States

Inaugural Charles Darwin Scholar, CDU & Resident guest of Northern Institute







Over the last decade it is becoming clearer that Charles Darwin was not the only evolutionist nor was he a revolutionary in the usual sense of the word. How do these findings fit with a historical narrative about science in the developed world that tends to emphasise heroic figures?  This talk will provide a quick review of recent findings relating to Darwin’s achievements and also address some of the larger shifts in understanding the way science was practiced in the past.


Janet Browne’s interests range widely over the history of the life sciences and natural history. After a first degree in zoology she studied for a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London, published as The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography (1983). Ever since then she has specialised in reassessing Charles Darwin’s work, first as associate editor of the early volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, and more recently as author of a major biographical study that integrated Darwin’s science with his life and times. While it was framed as a biographical study, the intention was to explore the ways in which scientific knowledge was created, distributed and accepted, moving from private to public, as reflected in the two-volume structure of the work. The biography was received generously both in the UK and USA, and awarded several prizes, including the James Tait Black award for non-fiction in 2004, the WH.Heinemann Prize from the Royal Literary Society, and the Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society. She was based for many years at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London where she taught in the MA, MSc and undergraduate programs in the history of science, biology, and medicine. She has been editor of the British Journal for the History of Science and president of the British Society for the History of Science.

WHENWednesday 30 July
10.30am - 11.30am
Morning tea provided
WHERENorthern Institute, Charles Darwin University - Casuarina Campus, Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Red Room)
Presentation available via video conference if requested contact Alisha Dakis Alisha.dakis@cdu.edu.au
RSVPTuesday 29 July via Outlook or alternatively by email to thenortherninstitute@cdu.edu.au