Cain, Joe

Head of Department, and
Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology

Prof Cain's research interests include the history of evolutionary studies, Darwin and Darwinism, history of science in London, history of natural history and natural history films.
Publications via UCL's IRIS service (link)


0207 679 3041 (UK)
+442076793041 (intl)
J.Cain@ucl.ac.uk
Twitter: @profjoecain

UCL location (map)

Term 2 office hours: Tuesdays 2-3, Thursdays 3-4 and by appointment

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Cain's projects

Down house. Photo by Joe Cain

Featured projects

How did one little dog cause so much trouble?

Cain, Joe. 2013. The Brown Dog in Battersea Park (London Euston Grove Press), 32p. ISBN 978-1-906267-35-9. Order: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

In 1906, anti-vivisection campaigners unveiled a memorial in Battersea, London, as a new weapon in their long-running propaganda war. A celebrated libel trial focused attention on the plight of one brown terrier dog, the subject of physiological experiments and classroom demonstrations at University College London. Immortalised in bronze, that dog provoked passions for and against. Insulted, pro-science groups attacked the statue itself, marched in protest, and fought back with symbols of their own. Passions ran so high that electric alarms and 24-hour police guards were needed to prevent the statue’s destruction. In 1910, the memorial was removed in the middle of the night, and it never was seen in public again.

In 1985, anti-vivisection groups sponsored a replacement, a re-interpretation, and secured its position in a prominent spot of Battersea Park. But this, too, caused protest, and was quietly moved to an inconspicuous nook elsewhere in the park. It stands there today.

The Brown Dog in Battersea Park introduces both memorials, with an original photographic record of the second. The aim is to revive a small piece of London history. Also, to catch a glimpse of a fascinating story involving political activism, history of science, and a small brown terrier who came to symbolise an issue we still struggle to resolve. 

This booklet is part of a larger project (more).

Save the CP Dinosaurs

Help the famous Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. These are now in a poor state, with conservation sorely needed. 

27 February 2014: Join Prof Joe Cain at UCL's Grant Museum as part of UCL's Focus on the Positive event, where academic compete for audience votes towards good causes. The winner receives £2K towards their project. Mine? Fundraising to help the dinosaurs: conservation and heritage. 

July 2013: Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs launches. It's a community group that promotes long-term conservation of the dinosaurs and raise funds in support of this aim. It also encourages research, interpretation, engagement, and access related to the dinosaurs.

Follow Friends on Twitter: @cpdinosaurs

More about Joe's work on the dinosaurs (link).

Page last modified on 01 feb 14 08:48 by Joe Cain


Professor Joe Cain
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies