Cain, Joe

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

Prof Cain's research interests include the history of evolutionary studies (especially the synthesis period in evolutionary studies), Darwin and Darwinism, history of science in London, and history of natural history.

Publications via UCL's IRIS service (link)

0207 679 3041 (UK)
+442076793041 (intl)
Twitter: @profjoecain

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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: |

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 Dinosaurs

Prof Joe Cain is involved with Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, a community group promoting long-term conservation of the dinosaurs and community engagement. History projects are underway, too.

Follow Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs: 

More about Joe's work on Crystal Palace and the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (link).

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

Professor Joe Cain
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies