Special Guest Lecture "Erasmus Darwin and Serendipity"

Dr Patricia Fara will give the following lecture on at 1800 on Wednesday 8 December in the John Bradfield Room. All welcome.  

"Erasmus Darwin and Serendipity"

Erasmus Darwin – Charles’s grandfather – was well-known among his eighteenth-century contemporaries, highly respected by many but reviled by others. Energetic and sociable, this corpulent tee-totaller ran a successful medical practice, was a Fellow of the Royal Society and did much to alter the public face of science by sponsoring industrial innovation in the Midlands as well as writing best-selling poems on plants, technology and evolution. In this lecture, Patricia Fara explores fresh ways of thinking about this champion of Enlightenment thought. More than fifty years before his famous grandson, Erasmus Darwin dared to publish controversial ideas about evolution that put his medical text on the Vatican’s banned list. Politically radical, he campaigned for the abolition of slavery, supported the French Revolution, promoted education for women, and challenged Christian orthodoxy.

Dr Patricia Fara is a distinguished historian of science, a Fellow of Clare College and former Research Fellow of Darwin College.