I have been invited to give the Leicester Secular Society's Annual Darwin Anniversary Lecture 2021. It will be a public Zoom talk about Wallace's discovery of natural selection, and will take place on 14th Feb. at 18.30 UTC.
If you have Zoom installed then please enter the following up to 20 minutes before the talk:
Meeting ID: 195 450 481
If you do not wish to install Zoom they click the following link and follow the instructions: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/195450481
The talk will be followed by a 30 min Q&A session. Hope to see you there!
The blurb for the talk is as follows:
Alfred Russel Wallace and Natural Selection: The Real Story
Dr George Beccaloni (Director of the A. R. Wallace Correspondence Project, London, UK)
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913), one of the greatest scientists of all time. His seminal contributions to biology rival those of his friend and colleague Charles Darwin, though he is far less well known. Together Wallace and Darwin proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection in 1858, and their prolific subsequent work laid the foundations of modern evolutionary biology - and much more besides.
However, Wallace's extraordinary quest to understand how evolution works is not very well known. Many seem to think that he discovered natural selection by chance, but this is very far from the truth. This talk charts the development of Wallace's ideas about evolution, from his early life in Neath in Wales (UK) where he first became interested in the subject, through his four year expedition to the Amazon (which ended with the destruction of his irreplaceable specimens and notes), to his epic eight year journey around the Malay Archipelago where he finally discovered the process which drives the evolution of life on planet Earth.
• ARW had a Leicester connection – during 1844-5 he taught at the Collegiate School and during that time met Henry Walter Bates. There is a plaque commemorating them at the New Walk museum.
Dr George Beccaloni is a zoologist, evolutionary biologist, taxonomist, museum curator and science historian, who worked at London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) as an entomologist for more than 20 years. George set up the Wallace Memorial Fund in 1999, and is the founder and Director of the Wallace Correspondence Project. In 2002 George played a key role in helping the NHM acquire the world’s largest collection of Wallace-related manuscripts from Wallace’s descendants.
George has published a number of articles about Wallace and co-edited the book Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace with Charles Smith. He was the Historical Consultant for Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero, an award winning two-part BBC series about Wallace. In the past George has worked on the evolution of mimicry, macroecological patterns in butterfly-hostplant relationships, and novel methods to quantify the diet breadths of phytophagous insects.
He created the online databases Wallace Letters Online, the Cockroach Species File, and the Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex), and has published six books and many scientific and popular articles.
Details of the talk can also be seen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/720749421955982/