The Darwin Memorial Lecture,
At Theatre Severn, the Walker theatre, tickets from Theatre Severn.
This annual event was established in 1998 by the Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council Museum Service to recognise Charles Darwin’s link with Shrewsbury. The lecture is given each February on the Sunday nearest to the anniversary of Darwin’s birth (12 February). In 2009, following the reorganisation of local government, the management of the lecture was taken over by the Friends of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Over the years the lecture has become a significant event and has attracted a succession of highly qualified
DARWIN MEMORIAL LECTURE 2020
Sunday 16 February at 2.30 pm
Social Darwin: Hope, Fear and Modernity by Dr Carolyn Burdett
The decades following Darwin’s death were characterized by turbulent and diverse arguments about the nature of humans and their political and social organization in a newly modern world. Darwin’s ideas played a significant role in these debates – social Darwinists emphasized the brutal struggle for survival while their opponents pointed to the evolutionary roots of cooperation and altruism. In this talk Dr Burdett investigates these diverse debates, arguing that ‘social Darwinism’, characterized by ruthless competitiveness and consolidated by the neo-Darwinists of the twentieth century, was only part of the many and disputed ways the late-Victorians used Darwin to understand and shape their modern world
Dr Carolyn Burdett lectures in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published extensively and is the General Editor of the online journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Tickets at £12 each are available from the Theatre Severn Box Office and the Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury.
Promoted by the Friends of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
Sponsored by University Centre Shrewsbury
Archive of recent Darwin Memorial Lectures
2019: Peter Moore, Robert Fitzroy – a Napoleon or a Nelson?
2018: Prof. Martin Rudwick I, the Geologist”: Charles Darwin’s first career.
2017: Dr Andrew Berry (Harvard University) Coincidence? Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace and the Co-discovery of Natural Selection.
2016 Andrea Wulf, ‘The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt and his Influence on Charles Darwin’.
2015 Professor Gregory Radick, University of Leeds, ‘A brilliant blunder’? Darwin and Mendel revisited’.
2014 Professor Joe Cain, University College, London, ‘The Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 – reality or fiction?’
2013 Professor James Moore, Open University, ‘Making Livings: the Economic Worlds of Wallace and Darwin’.
2012 Dr Jim Endersby, University of Sussex, ‘Sympathetic Science: Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker and the Passions of Victorian Naturalists’
2011 Dr Alison Pearn, Cambridge University, ‘The Work of the Darwin Correspondence Project’.
2010 Dr Robert Anderson, former Director of the British Museum, ‘Joseph Black and the Scottish Enlightenment’.
2009 Professor Lord May, Oxford University, Bicentennial Lecture
Professor David Bellamy, Naturalist; David Shepherd, Wildlife Artist; Michael Leach, Wildlife Photographer; Professor Steve Jones, Geneticist; Dr Janet Browne, Biographer of Charles Darwin; Professor Chris Stringer, Human Palaeontologist; Randal Keynes, Author and Charles Darwin’s great-great grandson; Professor Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize for Medicine; Professor Paul Pearson, Geologist; Professor Colin Pillinger, Lead Scientist, Beagle Mars Project; Professor Richard Dawkins.