- Grant Museum of Zoology
- Department of Science and Technology Studies
- Centre for Ecology and Evolution
The Centre for the History of Evolutionary Studies (CHES) is an interdisciplinary research group at UCL focusing on the history of evolutionary studies. Our purpose is to foster interaction between historians, biologists, museum professionals, and others with keen interests in the topic.
related UCL activities
Research, Discussion, Analysis
CHES is operated by a steering group, including Professor Joe Cain, Dr Michael Buttolph, and Dr Andy Hammond. CHES was launched in September 2009. If you would like to join our mailing list or receive other information about the Centre, please contact Prof Cain.
CHES e-mail list
CHES operates an e-mail distribution list for news of CHES and CHES-related events. Users sign up via UCL's mailman service (link).
CHES reading group
CHES Reading Group provides an informal gathering to discuss recent or important literature in the history of evolutionary studies. It meets monthly. The CHES reading group uses Moodle (link). Contact Prof Joe Cain for password.
|2013||session will focus on this material|
|24 May 2013||
Excerpts from Desmond Morris. The Human Zoo.
|19 April 2013||
Lyon, John. 1976. The “Initial Discourse” to Buffon's Histoire naturelle: The first complete English translation. Journal of the History of Biology 9(1): 133-181. (link)
Buffon, G. 1749. The Ass. In Natural history: general and particular, by the Count de Buffon, translated into English. Illustrated with above 260 copper-plates, and occasional notes and observations by the translator. (link)
Bewick, Thomas. 1807. A General History of Quadrupeds, pp. 1-23. The Horse, etc. (pdf)
|08 March 2013||
Discussion with Frederic Bouchard
Contact Dr Andy Hammond for material.
Productivity is good
McMullin 1976, “The fertility of theory and the Unit for Appraisal in Science”, in Cohen RS, Feyerabend PK, Wartofsky MW, Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos.
Birds and bees
Akçay, Erol and Joan Roughgarden. Extra-pair paternity in birds: review of the genetic benefits. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9: 855-868 (link)
|2012||session will focus on this material|
What the ...?!?
Hampton and Wheeler. 2011. Fostering the rebirth of natural history. Biology Letters. published online 31 August 2011. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0777 (link)
New Thinking About Lysenko
William deJong-Lambert and Nikolai Krementsov. 2011. On Labels and Issues: The Lysenko Controversy and the Cold War. Journal of the History of Biology (link).
Michael Gordin. 2011. How Lysenkoism Became Pseudoscience: Dobzhansky to Velikovsky. Journal of the History of Biology (link)
Rena Selya. 2011. Defending Scientific Freedom and Democracy: The Genetics Society of America’s Response to Lysenko. Journal of the History of Biology. (link)
Ardrey and the Biological Human
Nadine Weidman. 2011. Popularizing the Ancestry of Man: Robert Ardrey and the Killer Instinct. Isis 102: 269-299. DOI: 10.1086/660130 (link)
Collecting for Science and Self
John Steinbeck. 1945. Cannery Row
WFR Weldon. 1901. A First Study of Natural Selection in Clausilia Laminata (Montagu). Biometrika 1:109-124. (link)
If you're searching for historical context, start here:
M. Eileen Magnello. 1996. Karl Pearson's Gresham Lectures: W. F. R. Weldon, Speciation and the Origins of Pearsonian Statistics. British Journal for the History of Science 29:43-63. (link)
Gould and Kuhn
This CHES features a guest, Prof Greg Radick (Leeds).
Radick, Gregory. 2012. The Exemplary Kuhnian: Gould’s Structure Revisited. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 42: 143-157. DOI: 10.1525/hsns.2012.42.2.143 (link).
Let’s do Haldane, then.
Haldane, JBS. 1932. The time of action of genes, and its bearing on some evolutionary problems. American Naturalist 66: 5-24. (link)
Yellow or Green or In Between?
Evolutionary mechanisms using new ideas
McClintock, Barbara. 1961. Some Parallels Between Gene Control Systems in Maize and in Bacteria. The American Naturalist 95: 265-277 (link)
Digging into a classic volume
Dobzhansky, Theodosius. 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species (New York: Columbia University Press), chapters 1-4. Ask Joe.
More of the same
Dobzhansky, Theodosius. 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species (New York: Columbia University Press), chapters 5-7. Ask Joe.
Dobzhansky, Theodosius. 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species (New York: Columbia University Press), chapters 8-10. Ask Joe.
|2011||session focused on this material|
Object study; nature study
Hopwood, Nick. 2006. Pictures of Evolution and Charges of Fraud: Ernst Haeckel’s Embryological Illustrations. Isis 97: 260-301.
There's Gould in them there hills
Gould, S.J. and R. C. Lewontin. 1979. The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 205, No. 1161, The Evolution of Adaptation by Natural Selection (Sep. 21, 1979), pp. 581-598.
Beanbags? Ikea or Insight?
Mayr, E. 1959. Where Are We? Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 24:1-14.
Haldane, J.B.S. A Defense of Beanbag Genetics. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 7:343-359.
There are many related pieces and commentaries, such as:
Crow, James. 2009. Mayr, mathematics and the study of evolution. Journal of Biology 8:13.
Recent historical materials:
Rao, Veena and Nanjundiah. 2010. JBS Haldane, Ernst Mayr and the Beanbag Genetics Dispute. Journal of the History of Biology
Dronamraju, Krishna. 2011. Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
How the other half live
de Bont, Raf. 2010. Poetry and Precision: Johannes Thienemann, the Bird Observatory in Rossitten and Civic Ornithology, 1900–1930. Journal of the History of Biology
Bell, Sandra, et al. 2008. What counts? Volunteers and their organisations in the recording and monitoring of biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 3443-3454.
Novel or gnosh?
Van Valen, Leigh. 1978. Why Not to Be a Cladist. Evolutionary Theory 3: 285-299.
Jablonka, Eva and Lamb, Marion. 2002. The changing concept of epigenetics. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 981: 82–96.
[cancelled owing to tube strike]
Getting into Your Head
Anderson, Kay and Perrin, Colin. 2009. Thinking with your head: Race, craniometry, humanism. Journal of Cultural Economy 2: 83-98.
New Naturalist Meets Old Zoo
Cain, Joe. mss. Julian Huxley, General Biology, and the London Zoo, 1935–1942.
screening of Huxley's (1934) film Private Life of the Gannets
Did He Find a Missing Piece?
Eiseley, Loren C. 1979. Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X: New Light on the Evolutionists (London: Dent), pp. 45-80 and pp. 169-183.
Eiseley's technical article on the same subject is published as:
Eiseley, Loren C. and Grote, A. 1959. Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103(1): 94-158.
A Doctor in the House?
Rushton, Alan. 2000. Nettleship, Pearson, and Bateson: The Biometric-Mendelian Debate in a Medical Context. Journal of the History of Medicine. 55: 134-157. (publisher)
Darwin in the Galapagos
-Darwin. 1839. Journal and remarks. 1832-1836. Volume 4 ofKing, PP, Fitzroy, R. and Darwin, CR. 1839. The narrative of the voyages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle. (London: Henry Colburn), pp. 453-478 on the "Galapagos Archipelago". (pdf)
-For a contrast, try this: Hermann Melville's (1856) The Encantadas (pdf).
Darwin or Mendel?
-Kingsland, Sharon E. 1991. The Battling Botanist: Daniel Trembly MacDougal, Mutation Theory, and the Rise of Experimental Evolutionary Biology in America, 1900-1912. Isis 82: 479-509. (jstor)
Proximate and Ultimate
-Dietrich, Michael. 1998. Paradox and Persuasion: Negotiating the Place of Molecular
Evolution within Evolutionary Biology. Journal of the History of Biology 31: 85-111.
-Mayr, Ernst. 1961. Cause and Effect in Biology. Science134: 1501-1506.
Mark's blog (moodle)
A new start; a new discipline
-Sepkoski, David. 2009. The Emergence of Paleobiology. In David Sepkoski and Michael Ruse (eds.). 2009. The Paleobiological Revolution: Essays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology(Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
We few; we happy few
-Johnson, Kristin. 2007. Natural History as Stamp Collecting.Archives of Natural History 34: 244-258.
Kettlewell and Biston
-Rudge, D.W. 2003. The Role of Photographs and Films in Kettlewell’s Popularizations of the Phenomenon of Industrial Melanism. Science and Education 12: 261-287.
Also a screening of Kettlewell's (1956) film Evolution in Action
Page last modified on 11 mar 13 08:30 by Joe Cain
UCL Centre for the History of Evolutionary Studies
For more information:
Dr Joe Cain
Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL
0207 679 3041 office | J.Cain@ucl.ac.uk | www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/cain