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Darwin Lecture 2023: "Radical by Nature" – James T. Costa

Darwin-Büste im Museum für Naturkunde

Join biologist and Wallace scholar Prof. James T. Costa, PhD, in marking the bicentennial of the birth of explorer, naturalist, and humanitarian Alfred Russel Wallace!

Nineteenth-century poet Walt Whitman declared in Song of Myself that he "contained multitudes", a largeness of spirit, perspectives, beliefs, and interests so expansive that there was room within even for contradictions. He may well have been singing of his contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace. Perhaps the most famed naturalist of the Victorian age by the end of his long life in 1913, Wallace's expeditions to remote Amazonia and southeast Asia became the stuff of legend: a collector of thousands of species new to science, he shared in the discovery of natural selection with Darwin and founded the field of evolutionary biogeography.

Yet Wallace also courted controversy with nonscientific pursuits from spiritualism to socialism, becoming the archetypal socially engaged scientist tirelessly campaigning for land and labor reform, women’s rights, and more. James T. Costa celebrates the complex and "multitudinous" Wallace in Radical by Nature, his new biography to mark the Wallace bicentennial. At 200, Alfred Russel Wallace continues to inspire and instruct.

Event informationen

  • 10 February 2023, 19:30 (doors open from 19:00)
  • Welcome by Prof. Johannes Vogel, Director General
  • Discussion by Dr. Sarah Darwin, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • Please register via this link.
  • The event will be held in English.

Further informationen

You can find more information about the book here.