“The World Before Darwin” – Lecture 1 of “Origin of Species” 150th Anniversary Lecture Series

Wednesday, September 9, at 8pm eastern time, at Harvard University and live via teleconference, Harvard Professor of the History of Science, Everett Mendelsohn, will deliver the inaugural lecture of the 150th anniversary “Origin of Species” lecture series hosted by The Reading Odyssey and the Darwin Facebook project.

To register for the live teleconference or to express interest in a seat at the lecture at Harvard, click here:

Professor Mendelsohn will speak on “The World Before Darwin” drawing from his popular undergraduate course, “The Darwinian Revolution” and his many decades of experience studying the history of science and the impact of Darwin.

See Professor Mendelsohn’s impressive bio below.

Note: this lecture will be the first of four lectures in the spring of 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of “On the Origin of Species.” Dates and registration information for the subsequent three lectures will be published soon. 

To keep informed of the lecture series and other events, sign up for the Reading Odyssey newsletter here:


Everett Mendelsohn
Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus
Research Professor of the History of Science

Everett Mendelsohn has been on the faculty of the Department of the History of Science since 1960. He has worked extensively on the history of the life sciences as well as on aspects of the social and sociological history of science and the relations of science and modern societies. Prior to retirement, he taught a large undergraduate course as part of Harvard’s Core Curriculum, which focuses on science and society in the twentieth century; also he is the former Master of Dudley House, the graduate student center.

He is the founder and former editor of the Journal of the History of Biology and a founder of the yearbook Sociology of the Sciences. He serves(d) on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Social Science and Medicine, Social Epistemology, Social Studies of Science, and Fundamenta Scientiae, among others.

He is past president of the International Council for Science Policy Studies and has been deeply involved in the relations between science and modern war as a founder of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Committee on Science, Arms Control, and National Security, and the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Committee on International Security Studies. He was a founder and first president of the Cambridge based Institute for Peace and International Security. He was awarded the Gregor Mendel Medal of the reorganized Czechoslovak Academy of Science in 1991. During 1994 he held the Olof Palme Professorship in Sweden. He received recognition for his teaching when awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize in 1996.

Among recent publications are the jointly edited volumes, The Practices of Human Genetics (1999); Biology as Society, Society as Biology: Metaphors (1994); Technology, Pessimism and Postmodernism (1993);Science, Technology, and the Military (1988). He has also written recent articles including: “Thinking Like a Mountain: The Epistemological Puzzle of Environmentalism;” “The Politics of Pessimism: Science and Technology Circa 1968;” “Prophet of Our Discontent, Lewis Mumford Confronts the Bomb;” “The Social Locus of Scientific Instruments;” “Religious Fundamentalism and the Sciences;” and “Grasping the Elusive Peace in the Middle East.”

20. May 2009 by Arrian
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