UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Professor Joe Cain

STS Head of Department and UCL Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology


Joe's an expert in the history of evolutionary biology, especially Darwin and Darwinism, and his research interests range from romantic collaborations in modern science to the famous dinosaur statues in London's Crystal Palace. In 2009 he published a new edition of Darwin's Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (Penguin) and a collection of essays on new trends in the history of Darwinism, Descended from Darwin (American Philosophical Society). 

In 2016, Joe ended his "Film Nights" series, a 10+ year collaboration with UCL Grant Museum of Zoology that showed, for free, classic and obscure films related to the history of natural history. Films included “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “The Blob,” “The Lost World,” “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” and the shamefully popular “Attack of the Killer Shrews”. This series served as a setting to develop a new model for public engagement in the cinema. (more...)

Joe has won one international and two UCL teaching awards. He has received one academic award for photography. In 2012, Joe also was awarded UCL's Public Engagement Unit's award for the head of department who has shown the strongest commitment to culture change in their area of responsibility with respect to public engagement. He also has received special commendations from UCL's Provost for his extensive public engagement activity. (more...)

Joe tweets as @profjoecain

Research Interests

Prof Joe 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. 


  • UCL Discovery profile (link)
  • Additional information on Joe's publications (link)

Recent projects

  • Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (more...)
  • Brown Dog and the statue in Battersea Park (more...)
  • Evolution: A Journal of Nature (more...)


Undergraduate module leader

Masters module leader

  • HPSCGA24 Science in the Nineteenth Century (2017-18 next)

PhD postgraduate research supervisions

Prof Joe Cain supervises research students on subjects in history and philosophy of biology (more...).

Research profile

Prof Joe Cain

Prof Joe Cain


22 Gordon Square, room 1.3
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies
Gower Street


  • Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology
    Dept of Science & Technology Studies
    Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL


Professor Joe Cain's research interests include the history of evolutionary studies, natural history, and palaeontology. He also has expertise in Darwin and Darwinism as well as history of science in London, UK.