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Darwin in public and private

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A free public lecture at Madingley Hall by Dr Alison Pearn.

More than 130 years after his death, Charles Darwin’s name is still everywhere – in the media, in movies, in the lyrics of rock songs. He is one of a tiny number of scientists who has become more a brand than a person. So what more could possibly be said about the author of On the Origin of Species? As one of the editors of the 15,000 or so letters Darwin exchanged with many hundreds of correspondents all round the world, Alison Pearn argues that putting the public Darwin back into his personal context makes both the man and his ideas come alive in fascinating new ways for modern audiences.

Alison joined the Darwin Correspondence Project in 1996. Her background is in history, with a BA from Oxford, and a PhD from Cambridge. She curated the University Library’s Darwin Bicentenary exhibition, and edited a companion book, A Voyage Round the World: Charles Darwin and the Beagle Collections of the University of Cambridge (CUP 2009). She is responsible for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the Darwin Project, including its outreach programme, gives both academic and popular lectures on its work, and has appeared on radio programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s In our Time, and Woman’s Hour.

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