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St Mary's College, Durham 4-6 April


Friday 4 April

15.00-17.00: Registration

Section One: The Anglophone World

17.30-18.30 David Amigoni (Keele): Down the Darwinian Line(s): Inherited Characteristics in Biology, Literature and Culture

*20.00-21.00 A. S. Byatt and Patricia Waugh (Durham): Darwinian Fictions (Elvet Riverside 140)
This event is open to the public - admission free.

Saturday 5 April

09.30-11.00 Anna Barton (Keele): An Evolutionist to his Son: Tennyson, Darwin and the Poetry of Inheritance
John Holmes (Reading): Victorian Evolutionary Criticism and the Pitfalls of Consilience

11.30-13.00 Jon Adams (London): Value Judgements and Functional Roles: Carroll's Quarrel With Pinker
Wendy Wheeler (London): The Book of Nature and the Semiosic Tree of Life: Biosemiotics and the Evolution of Literature

Section Two: The Francophone World

14.30-16.00 Christopher Lloyd (Durham): Men, Monkeys, and Monsters: the Evolution of Popular Fiction from the Fin-de-siècle to the Present

Louise Lyle (Sheffield): The Evolution of Humanity in Vercors's " Les animaux dénaturés" and Romain Gary's "Les racines du ciel"

16.30-17.15 Douglas Morrey (Warwick): Houellebecq, Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology

18.00-19.00 David Baguley (Durham/UWO): Zola and Darwin: A Reassessment

Sunday 6 April

Section Three: The Germanophone World

09.00-10.00 John A. McCarthy (Vanderbilt): Nietzsche and Darwin: Life as Literature, Literature as Life

10.30-12.00 David Midgley (Cambridge): The Reception of Bergson's "L'évolution créatrice" in the German-Speaking World

Katja Mellmann (Munich): Evolutionary Psychology as Heuristic of Literary Studies



The Future

14.30-15.15 Alistair Brown (Durham): The E-Volutionary Novel: Darwinian Digital Narratives


16.30-17.30 Elinor Shaffer (London): The Reception of Darwin in Europe

Conference site address:
St Mary's College
University of Durham
Elvet Hill Road
GB-Durham DH1 3LR
Telephone (Reception) 0044 (0)191 334 5719

Attendance fee including tea/coffee and lunch £100 (unwaged £55) Attendance fee including full board accommodation, tea/coffee, and lunch £200 (unwaged £155)


Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, Oxford

Tuesday 19 February, 7 pm

In the next in an occasional series of lectures by authors of successful books in the history of science, Philip Ball will talk about his book, The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science. Philip Ball has been awarded the Dingle Prize (2007) by the British Society for the History of Science and is described in The Sunday Times as 'one of our most versatile and gripping science writers.'

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The conference organised by the Reading Experience Database will include a guest panel from the BSLS. Titled 'Scientists Reading Literature', the panel will feature papers by Gowan Dawson (Leicester), Mary Noble (Princeton) and Stephen Jacyna (UCL) and will be chaired by Alice Jenkins (Glasgow):

Gowan Dawson, ‘The novelist puts this and that together’: Richard Owen’s reading of serialized fiction'

Mary Noble, '‘The worst novel is better than the best of other books’: Darwin’s novel-reading and his scientific writing'

Stephen Jacyna, 'Henry Head as a reader of literature'.


HSS 2008 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
6-9 November 2008
(Joint meeting with PSA)

The History of Science Society will hold its 2008 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA in the Omni William Penn hotel (site of the 1999 annual meeting). Proposals for sessions, contributed papers, and, for the first time, posters, must be submitted by 1 April 2008 to the History of Science Society’s Executive Office. Papers that are part of a session are due no later than 8 April 2008.

All proposals must be submitted on the HSS Web site ( or on the annual meeting proposal forms that are available from the HSS Executive Office.

For more information, see the conference pages on the History of Science Society website:

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Registration is now open for a one-day event discussing Popular Science Books to be held at Imperial College's South Kensington Campus, 22nd February 2008.

Literary critics, historians, writers, illustrators, publishers, prize-givers, reviewers, readers, booksellers, teachers (and others) are all invited to take part in what we hope will be a day of lively discussions.

Places are limited, so prompt registration is recommended. A registration form and an overview of the programme can be found on the Science and Communication Group pages.

A full programme with abstracts and speakers biographies will be online for download in the next week.

All enquires to


We are looking for contributors for a one-day event on popular science books to be held at Imperial College, London on 22nd Feb 2008. Literary critics, historians, writers, illustrators, publishers, prize-givers, reviewers, readers, booksellers, teachers (and others) are all invited to take part.

Contributors will be asked introduce a book, collection, theme, or popular science author, perhaps with a small extract, and use it to raise a topic for discussion in or about popular science.

Texts considered can be contemporary or historical, but should be something all participants can get an idea of quickly from the introduction; all important text must be in English. Participants will come from different backgrounds, so be prepared to share examples and speak to people from other fields

Topics may include (but are not limited to):
* Criteria for a 'good' popular science book.
* The use of imagery and metaphor.
* History of Science.
* Illustrations, diagrams, graphics and design.
* Issues of culture and social class.
* Writing for children.
* Epistemology.
* Celebrity and popular science authorship.
* Marketing and publishing.
* Religion.
* Relationships between scientists and 'the public'.

We will conduct participatory workshops rather than following the traditional "papers and questions" model. You would have 30-45 minutes to lead a session, which means speaking about your example for approx. 15 minutes, then leading an open discussion on your topic.

If you are interested in contributing, please send us an outline of your presentation (500 words maximum) and a short bio (approx 200 words). The outline should list the source(s) you want to discuss, and preview the discussion topic your session would raise. Email this to by the 23rd November 2007.

Registration will not open until the programme is finalised in early December, but we can confirm that the cost will be £10 (includes lunch and refreshments) and it'll be held at Imperial College, South Kensington Campus, on Friday 22nd February 2008.

Further enquires to

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BSLS member Alice Bell writes to say:

We've just put together a draft programme for the 2007 “Science and the Public�? conference (Imperial College London, 19th May). It's going to be diverse and exciting day.

Registration is now open, registration details and the draft programme are available from the Science and Communication Group site at Imperial College.

Sessions include:
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