Matthew James

Aug 16, 2019

Collecting Evolution

The Galapagos Expedition that Vindicated Darwin

Oxford University Press 2017

purchase at bookshop.org Matthew James talks about the 1905 Galapagos Expedition organized by the California Academy of Sciences. James is a professor of geology at Sonoma State University. He is the author of Collecting Evolution: The Galapagos Expedition that Vindicated Darwin (Oxford University Press, 2017). In 1905, eight men from the California Academy of Sciences set sail from San Francisco for a scientific collection expedition in the Galapagos Islands, and by the time they were finished in 1906, they had completed one of the most important expeditions in the history of both evolutionary and conservation science. These scientists collected over 78,000 specimens during their time on the islands, validating the work of Charles Darwin and laying the groundwork for foundational evolution texts like Darwin's Finches. Despite its significance, almost nothing has been written on this voyage, lost amongst discussion of Darwin's trip on the Beagle and the writing of David Lack.
Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration.

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Michael F. Robinson