'We are arriving at very curious results': Charles Darwin and the practice of science

Public history of science lecture by Dr Alison Pearn

Charles Darwin Charles Darwin

Event Details

Alison Pearn is Associate Director of the Darwin Project, University of Cambridge.

He never wore a lab coat, and is famous principally for a theory, yet Charles Darwin's contribution to scientific method is considerable and often overlooked. Working surrounded by his family in an ordinary Victorian country house he devised ingenious experiments on everything from human expression to insectivorous plants, worked out the taxonomy of barnacles, and observed unsuspected behaviours in organisms from ants to earthworms. In devising some of the most influential ideas ever formulated, he used everything that came to hand from the vegetables in the kitchen garden, to the drugs prescribed for his stomach complaints, and, along the way, he pioneered the use of the scientific questionnaire, and conducted perhaps the first ever recorded 'single blind' experiment.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12.30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

We have a limited number of spaces for wheelchair users and ten bookable seats for people with impaired mobility who are unable to queue. To book in advance, please contact the events team. Further information about accessibility is available.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days after the event.

Enquiries: Contact the events team

'We are arriving at very curious results': Charles Darwin and the practice of science 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Open House Weekend 2015 19 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London The Royal Society's building will be open to the public on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015.

For more events please see the events diary.

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