Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory


Thursday, September 14, 2017, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street

The Evolution Matters Lecture Series, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

James T. Costa, Professor, Department of Biology, Western Carolina University Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station, University of North Carolina

Charles Darwin, iconic evolutionary biologist, was a naturalist with a passion for experiments. Sometimes quirky, always illuminating, Darwin’s experiments were an ever-present part of his home life, taking over his house, garden, and greenhouse, as well as surrounding meadows and woodlands, while often involving family, friends, and neighbors as research assistants. James Costa will discuss this inventive side of Darwin, detailed in his new book, Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory. Following the lecture, visit the museum galleries, where Harvard students and museum educators will demonstrate a selection of Darwin’s experiments.

The Evolution Matters Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit.