DARWIN AND THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES: A FIELD COURSE
Monday, May 08, 2017, 8:00 AM to Saturday, May 20, 2017, 5:00 PM EDT
Charles Darwin’s epochal treatise On the Origin of Species is often cited but seldom read, even by biologists. I have taught a seminar-style course on the Origin for nearly 20 years, yielding The Annotated Origin (Harvard, 2009), my annotated facsimile of the1st edition of the Origin designed to guide readers through the historical context, structure, and content of Darwin’s masterwork. Many readers of the Origin are surprised at the extent to which Darwin backed up the Origin‘s arguments with novel observations and data from a diversity of home-spun experiments. Traditional campus-based versions of this course offer little time to pursue these. In this first-time field station offering of my Darwin course we will read and discuss the Origin in its entirety, but also build upon the readings with daily “Darwin-inspired” lab and field investigations. Following Darwin’s lead, we will repeat key observations and replicate or emulate a host of Darwin’s insightful experiments, thereby coming to a deeper understanding of Darwin’s method and genius.
Contact: Jim Costa