BOOK: Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition

Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition, by Kristin Johnson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), 376 pp.

For centuries naturalists have endeavored to name, order, and explain biological diversity. Karl Jordan (1861–1959) dedicated his long life to this effort, describing thousands of new species in the process. Ordering Life explores the career of this prominent figure as he worked to ensure a continued role for natural history museums and the field of taxonomy in the rapidly changing world of twentieth-century science.

Jordan made an effort to both practice good taxonomy and secure status and patronage in a world that would soon be transformed by wars and economic and political upheaval. Kristin Johnson traces his response to these changes and shows that creating scientific knowledge about the natural world depends on much more than just good method or robust theory. The broader social context in which scientists work is just as important to the project of naming, describing, classifying, and, ultimately, explaining life.

BBC’s In Our Time: Life After the Origin

As mentioned here, BBC – Radio 4 will have several shows about Charles Darwin. In Our Time, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, continues with a 4-part series with “Life After the Origin”:

Part 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab.

In Our Time’s website is here and a direct link to the mp3 here.

Dispersal Event 3/6/2008

The winter issue of Cabinet magazine has a section devoted solely to bones, including “A Buried History of Paleontology: The remains of Waterhouse Hawkins” and “Cutting the World at Its Joints: An Interview with D. Graham Burnett (Comparative anatomy on trial).
Was Darwin an agnostic or an atheist? Larry Moran gives his thoughts, and Richard Carter disagrees with historian John van Wyhe’s claim that he was not an atheist. Listen to van Whye’s lecture, “Darwin’s Loss of Faith,” from 2007 I think.
Joanna Cobley of The Museum Detective blog in New Zealand has been doing podcasts relating to the history of science and natural history. Topics include Darwin, James Hector, Linnaeus, Daniel Solander, and Joseph Banks, the platypus, and scientific societies.
High praise from Charles Darwin at Gaddeswarup’s blog (concerns Henry Walter Bates)
Ellee Seymour, Proactive PR:
A date with Darwin (2009 celebrations)
The Canadian Press: Darwin exhibit in Toronto shows evolution of famed naturalist’s life
ABC Goulburn Murray: The Origin of Charles Darwin (not The Beagle!)
Tangled Up in Blue Guy: Darwin Took Steps (a Darwin art piece, below, here’s the making of)
Flickr photo pool: Pets named Darwin
The Chapel Hill News: Darwin Day celebrates curiosity
The Huffington Post: Are You There Mr. Darwin?
Times Online: Natural Fact (on Darwin, Wallace, and Patrick Matthew) and Museum plans rival to Sistine Chapel

Calgary Herald: Plant diversity drew early explorers

line of sight: darwin in buenos aires
A review of Re:Design from The Boston Globe
Granddaddy Long Legs: Happy Birthday Charles Darwin
The Daily Iowan: Saluting Darwin
theage.com.au: Desktop Darwin’s surprise discovery (coral reefs)
The Albuquerque Tribune: Santa Fe author Anne Weaver hopes her book about Darwin gets kids stoked about science (review of The Voyage of the Beetle)
The Plain Dealer: Case to celebrate, honor Darwin in 2008-09 (I’ve read elsewhere that all incoming students are required to read The Reluctant Mr. Darwin)
The Daily Nash-on (blog): Darwin in Distress