Darwin correspondence discussed in next 'Darwin at 200' event

Science historian Sheila Ann Dean, who has studied the correspondence of Charles Darwin extensively, presents the lecture “Charles Darwin: After the Origin and Before the Descent” at Bates College at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Ave.

The year 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of naturalist Charles Darwin and the 150th publication anniversary of The Origin of Species, the book in which he set forth the theory of evolution. Dean’s lecture is part of the “Darwin at 200” series of events produced by Bates and the Lewiston Public Library to illustrate the theory’s importance to our understanding of life on Earth and to human culture.

The talk is open to the public at no cost.

A visiting curator and scholar at Cornell University, Dean is the author of Charles Darwin: After the Origin (Cornell University Library and the Paleontological Research Institution, 2009), a book accompanying a major exhibition of the same title, mounted by Cornell and the Museum of the Earth, examining the 22 years that followed publication of The Origin of Species.

As an editor of the massive “Correspondence of Charles Darwin” project at the University of Cambridge, Dean spent almost 14 years reading piles of letters to and from Darwin. She has contributed to more than six volumes of the work.

Before earning her doctorate in history of science from The Johns Hopkins University, Dean worked as a forest hydrologist in the Rocky Mountains, later also studying acid mine drainage in Arizona. Her foray into the biological sciences included research of native and exotic desert fish.

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