Wiles Lectures 2018: ‘Trustees of Evolution: The Huxleys from Empire to World, c.1825-1975’ 

The Wiles Lectures 2018 will run from Wednesday 16th May through to Saturday 19th May 2018. All lectures will be in the Emeleus Lecture Theatre, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast

‘Trustees of Evolution: The Huxleys from Empire to World, c.1825-1975’ by Professor Alison Bashford, Research Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

The 2018 Wiles Lectures explore how life and earth sciences contributed to global modernity over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through the work of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) and his grandson Julian Sorrell Huxley (1887–1975). They were ‘trustees of evolution’, a phrase that Julian Huxley used to describe humankind as a whole, but which historian of global science, Alison Bashford, uses to describe the Huxleys themselves.  The Lectures aim to interrogate the great questions of modernity that first Thomas and then Julian Huxley raised and researched: about the changing nature of time; the connections and distinctions between human history and natural history; the impact of minds on bodies and bodies on minds; the relationship between the deep past and the distant future of humankind. They pondered the same momentous problems but in very different contexts; the grandfather in the imperial nineteenth century and the grandson in the international twentieth century. The span of their vital dates thus permits unique analysis of complex and often elusive ideas about nature, culture, and difference in pre-, high-, and post-Darwinian worlds, and in a global context for scientific thought that shifted from high imperialism to high internationalism.

More information about Wiles 2018 is available here

 

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