Programs & Events

Science Connections Lecture: The Force of Admiration: Alfred Russel Wallace on the Evolutionary Trail

Program Number: 
Program Type: 
Science Talks
Nov. 20, 2013 | Wednesday, 6:00pm
Multiple Times: 
Reception 6-7pm, Lecture at 7pm
Location: Museum of Natural Sciences - WRAL 3D Theater, 1st floor

Photograph of Alfred Russel Wallace, taken in Singapore, 1862.Speaker

James T. Costa, Ph.D., FLS
Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station
Professor of Biology, Western Carolina University

Alfred Russel Wallace is honored today as a founder of modern biogeography and co-founder of modern evolutionary biology.  His independent discovery of the principle of natural selection in early 1858, and the chain of events culminating in Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species,' set in motion by his discovery, are the stuff of lore and legend in the field.  Yet Wallace is often misunderstood or misrepresented as a mere collector and accidental evolutionist who stumbled upon natural selection in a malarial fever.  The reality is far more interesting.

Costa will discuss Wallace's inspirations, and how, in his early 20s, the self-educated and unprosperous Wallace traveled to the tropics precisely to solve the mystery of the origin of species — and how he eventually succeeded in his quest.

Doors open at 6pm for a small reception.  Free refreshments.

For more information please contact Bonnie Eamick,

A Birds of Paradise Special Event.

Presented in partnership with NESCent.