Cambridge Trip #3: Darwin in the Field Conference

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This was the first day of the Darwin in the Field conference. You can view the list of speakers and paper titles here. All of them dealt with some repsect with Darwin’s geological work during and soon after the voyage of HMS Beagle. I did not present until the second day. Below are some updates from my Twitter giving little bits from the presentations:

Darwin in the Field: J. Hodge: “The Darwinian Revolution” created in ’40s w/ Modern Synthesis, finches not “Darwin’s” til 1947 #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: J. Hodge: Darwin’s brain itself is a material object (hands-on work AND brain-on work) #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Endersby: Hooker: Evolution shouldn’t change how botanists treat species, b/c stable in human life time #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Endersby: Being philosophical more important to JD Hooker than being professional #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Rudwick: Darwin concedes Glen Roy theory: “I give up the ghost” #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Rudwick: don’t deify Darwin, for canonization is the death of history #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Pearson: Darwin’s igneous theory similar in ways to natural selection (liquid line of descent) #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: Howe: Brit. Geological Survey specimen numbering system very much like Darwin’s #darwinfest

Darwin in the Field: van Wyhe: Darwin has a self portrait in his Beagle notebooks – and it’s a stick man! #darwinfest

thanks John van Wyhe for a signed copy of his book “Darwin in Cambridge.” Very generous, and a neat way to remember Darwin 2009 #darwinfest

John van Wyhe plans to dispel myth that Darwin was simply a gentleman companion to Fitzroy #darwin #darwinfest

got a tour of “Darwin the Geologist” exhibit at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge – very nice! Love the old cabinets…#darwinfest #museum

It was great meeting many of the Darwin historians whose works I’ve read or at least whose books sit on my shelf: Peter Bowler, Sandra Herbert, David Kohn, M.J.S. Hodge, Martin Rudwick, John van Wyhe, Jim Endersby. A few scientists as well: Brian Rosen, Paul Pearson, Phil Stone, and David Norman. A fellow student: Alistair Sponsel. And from the Sedgwick Museum: Lyall Anderson and Francis Neary.

During the conference, we breaked to watch the premiere performance of Pif-Paf Arts‘ “Under the Floorboards,” a street theater play about Adam Sedgwick and the history of the earth. Corny, yes, but entertaining. Some photos:

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Under the Floorboards, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

When the presentationed ended for the day, the conference organizers treated us to a viewing of the new exhibition at the Sedgwick Museum, “Darwin the Geologist.” I’ll cover the exhibit in another post because I came back to see it again on Monday. But here’s a shot from the viewing:

Viewing of Darwin the Geologist, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Viewing of Darwin the Geologist, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Leaving the conference I spotted this bike outside. It belongs to historian John van Wyhe.

Darwin Fish Bike

Darwin Fish Bike

Saturday evening saw me at a local internet cafe working on my paper and slideshow, since the laptop I brought was not treating me so well.

You can view all the photos from my trip here, if you feel so inclined.

PREVIOUS: Cambridge Trip #2: Finding My WayCambridge Trip #1: Traveling

3 thoughts on “Cambridge Trip #3: Darwin in the Field Conference

  1. Pingback: Some more reading « Evolving Thoughts

  2. Pingback: Cambridge Trip #4: Darwin in the Field Conference, Pt. 2 « The Dispersal of Darwin

  3. Pingback: Tweeting from British Society for the History of Science « The Dispersal of Darwin

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