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Monday, 22 March 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Online Lecture

Darwin‘s Troubled Legacy

Professor Jim Endersby

Darwin’s Descent of Man was dominated by the theory of sexual selection, which Darwin used to explain peacock’s tails, but also to argue that white people were as superior to black ones as men were to women. For Darwin and his contemporaries, inequality between races and the sexes was one of the facts that science had to explain. 

Ever since Darwin, biology has been used to support racial prejudice and gender inequality, but – happily – has also been used to challenge both in the 150 years since the Descent.


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Given Covid-19, we are live-streaming all our lectures online in 2020-21 and aim to re-introduce in-person lectures gradually as social distancing rules change.

To attend lectures online, please register using the button above. This also allows us to let you know how to book in-person tickets when they are reintroduced. The registration process is simple, free, and only requires an email address.

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Jim is Visiting Gresham Professor in the History of Science. 

He is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Sussex and specialises in Victorian natural history and the modern genetics and has presented programmes for BBC Radio 4.

Professor Endersby's lecture series are as follows:

2020/21 Darwin's Descent: Monkeys, Orchids and Myths

2019/20 Utopian Gardens

All lectures by the Visiting Professor in the History of Science can be accessed here.

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