Alfred Russel Wallace Lecture Series: More Than Natural Selection

Network Node: 
Wed., Oct. 2, 2013, 3:30pm

Alfred Russel Wallace: More than Natural Selection

The U. Alberta Node is celebrating Alfred Russel Wallace's centenary anniversary with a series of 5 special lectures on various aspects of Russell's life and work.

All of the talks will take place in Tory Building 2-58 at the University of Alberta on Wednesday afternoons starting at 3.30pm.

More details to come.

October 2, 2013
Kathleen Lowrey (University of Alberta, Department of Anthropology)

October 9, 2013
Robert Smith (University of Alberta, Department of History and Classics)

October 16, 2013
Andrew Berry (Lecturer in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology,Harvard University)

October 23, 2013
Martin Fichman (Department of Humanities, York University)

October 30, 2013
Christine Ferguson (School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow)

Alfred Russel Wallace: More than Natural Selection

Alfred Russel Wallace was a great natural historian and a leading figure in the debates that swirled around the questions of evolution and the origins of humans in the nineteenth century. He and Charles Darwin are often paired as co-discoverers of evolution by natural selection. But Wallace’s interests were very wide ranging. One hundred years after his death, we will remember in this lecture series Wallace the natural historian and evolutionist, but we will also explore lesser known aspects of Wallace’s life, including Wallace’s involvement with spiritualism, his political sympathies, and even Wallace the protagonist in controversies around the existence of extra-terrestrial life.   

These multiple idiosyncracies are usually described as paradoxical departures from, even diminishments of, Wallace’s scientific competence.  We find in them a different sort of paradox.  They simultaneously attest to Wallace’s profound intellectual originality and independence while also being inextricable from the culturally and historically specific milieu of Victorian science.   Each of the talks in the series will explore a different aspect of this paradox and the interesting problems it poses for the study of science.