Michael D. Barton

Email: darwinsbulldog AT gmail DOT com

CV | Facebook | Facebook (Darwin) | Twitter | Instagram | SlideShare

The Dispersal of Darwin is my online space to share with interested folk news and views on Charles Darwin, evolution, natural history, and the history of science, with occasional posts about other science-related topics. I completed both my BA (2008) and MA (2010) in history, focusing on the history of science with a special interest in Darwin/evolution, at Montana State University in Bozeman. I was fortunate to work as a graduate student on a project to transcribe the letters of the 19th-century physicist John Tyndall (my graduate paper was on Tyndall and Darwin). I am currently working on the project again, this time as co-editor of multiple volumes of The Correspondence of John Tyndall (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). I have also previously worked on the Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project.

If you’re interested in sending a book or other media for a review or mention on this blog, please go here.

I currently live in West Linn, OR (near Portland) with my wife and two children. I love instilling in them a love for nature (local and all over the world). I previously blogged at Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas (now retired). I raise awareness about the importance of connecting children to nature through my Children at Nature Play signs I sell and associated social media.


View my Darwin Day 2009 post where I discuss my past and what tempted me to start (and continue) a Darwin blog.

2009 brought my first trips out of the United States, one to Cambridge, England for a Darwin conference and the other to London for research (this included a day trip to Darwin’s home Down House).

Info on my talk about history of science blogging at HSS 2009 in Phoenix, AZ.

I regularly update a list of blogs and Twitter feeds that focus or dabble in the history of science. (UPDATE: I have not updated this page in some years!! I still actively curate a Twitter list for history of science and related disciplines)

Info about my participation in a history of science session at ScienceOnline 2011 in North Carolina.

My quick appearance on BBC Radio’s Pods and Blogs program (now Outriders) on February 17, 2009 does not seem to be online anymore. I talked about blogging about Darwin.

Listen to my appearance on the Skeptically Speaking podcast (now Science for the People) in September 2011 here. I discussed Darwin and creationist quote-mining.

I was interviewed by Bora Zivkovic as an attendee of ScienceOnline 2011 here.

I wrote a post for the Foundation Beyond Belief blog on connecting children to nature, and how Darwin fits in, here.

43 thoughts on “About

  1. This is a wonderful site. For me Darwin was always the Victorian scientific rationalist par excellence, utterly thorough and objective.

    I’ve been doing a version of Lewis Carroll’s “Hunting of the Snark” for almost 2 years now and I personified the character of The Boots as Charles Darwin … it might interest you & your more nonsensical readers! I have my reasons for this choice but shall remain mum for now …
    Some of the panels & text where Darwin appears are here:

  2. I wonder if you all have any information on the flea from the hairy-nosed armadillo that Darwin is reputed to have given to the Australian naturalist William Sharp Macleay and which is now held in the Macleay Museum in Sydney. I’m interested in the history of collections and would like to trace both the armadillo and the flea. Thanks for any help you can give

  3. Hi there, super interesting blog. I’m glad I stumbled upon it!
    I’m involved with a project that features images from rare and special books at the University of British Columbia Library and presents them along with text. The project has a section on Charles Darwin letters—written to and by him. If you’re interested, you can check them out here (http://ubcvault.ca/catalog/detail.php?image_id=304).

  4. Dear Sir,

    Please find details of two sets of Darwin stamps and one commemorative coin. The Falklands stamp issue has just been voted the 9th most popular stamp issue of any type from 2009 (and therefore the most popular Darwin issue) by the reader’s of Stamp and Coin Mart.

    Ascension Island Stamps issued 9th November 2009 – http://www.postoffice.gov.ac

    Falkland Islands Stamps issued 23rd April 2009 – http://www.falklandstamps.com

    Falkland Islands Commemorative Coin issued June 2009 – http://www.pobjoy.com

    Let me know by e-mail if you would like images for illustration purposes.

    John smith

  5. Thanks for the comment! Always cool to find a fellow evolutionary blogger…although I really should get my blogging back up to speed. I will start by updating my site. And maybe even post something. 😉


  6. Pingback: 2009 in review « The Dispersal of Darwin

  7. I don’t think Darwin would have moved those books around…but then again, Darwin was a real scientist.

  8. @Jim – Are you saying I am not a scientist? Ouch. I agree, I am not. I am a history student.

    What’s your point?

  9. I am not sure if there was a reading list, but you have seen the videos, right? If not, click here.

    I’ve inquired w/ someone at Stanford about a reading list, because I see nothing online.

  10. Michael you seem like a really nice guy but removing books to another section just because you don’t agree with them seems very childish and a huge waste of time.

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  12. Greetings from The Bicycling Guitarist!
    Great blog you’ve got here. I liked reading about the girls whose shirts refer to one of their band’s patterns resembling the DNA molecule. If they were in a high school in some parts of the country, those shirts would be banned by upset parents who are in denial of the fact evolution happens.

    I wrote a song in 1991 you might enjoy. The lyrics page (with optional free mp3 downloads) is given as my Website link for this comment. I hope to rerecord it sometime this year with my new band Rosetucky.

    Welcome to Oregon.

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  21. Great site! And thanks for linking to my post over at the Wolverine Blog – always great to encounter another Darwin fan. Who did you study with at MSU? I am contemplating doing some work with them, and would love an opinion about good folks in the environmental history field. In any case, keep up the great blogging 🙂

  22. hi. I really loved your site. I was searching for the reading list of Darwin’s legacy in Stanford and it seems from the previous comments that you have it . Can you please e-mail this to me too?

  23. Just found your site via a link from Pharyngula, looks very interesting and am looking forward to spending some time here later. But first…. must work! Cheers from a fellow Portlander.

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  30. Love the blog. Just started reading through it while searching for a Darwin gift (young Darwin bobblehead which is impossible to find). Glad to have found this page. Will continue to read it when I can.

    Also, if you’re ever in the Toronto area, I recently visited the largest personal Darwin/Evolution related collection in the world. It was amazing.

  31. It belongs to Garrett Herman. He has every book of Darwin’s and every edition. Some things with Darwin’s actual handwriting on it etc among many other books. It’s a really amazing collection. Hard to explain in words. I don’t think trees much online about it but I believe he’s president of the canada chapter of the Charles Darwin foundation.

  32. Appears my previous comment didn’t send. That’s the guy. There isn’t much online about his collection. It’s more of a personal collection. But it’s well worth seeing if you ever get the chance. I just made a post on my page about the trip overall. Toronto is a great city, lots to see and do. I unfortunately went during a very cold time (-27 to -35 C) So I plan to return during a warmer part of the year some day. But here is the link to my post, with pictures.


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