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Cafe Scientifique: The selfish genius

October's cafe scientifique looks at the history of evolutionary theory, and the influence of one man on the public perception of Darwin's groundbreaking theory.


Join us for a drink in the café as we continue our informal café scientifique discussion events.

October's cafe scientifique looks at the history of evolutionary theory, and the influence of one man on the public perception of Darwin's groundbreaking theory. Author of ‘The Selfish Genius' Fern Elsdon-Baker, will take a provocative and entertaining look at famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins' highly popular neo-Darwinist theories. Dawkins' book ‘The Selfish Gene' was a smash hit in the 70s, single-handedly wrestling the evolutionary debate from the hands of scientists and placing it in the hands of the public. Dawkins' passion and vision make his books important reading, but, thirty years on, Elsdon-Baker fears that the Dawkins Discussion has become the Dawkins Discourse, an outdated and prescriptive way of understanding evolution that actually restricts debate rather than exciting it.

As a rational pro-science atheist and specialist in the history and communication of evolutionary theory, Fern Elsdon-Baker will attempt to disassemble the Dawkins myth and method that has monopolised the popular understanding of evolutionary development for the latter half of the twentieth century. Richard Dawkins, she argues, was the typical ‘Enlightenment Gent,' an outdated and uncompromising figurehead that wielded the broad sword of popular Science in a violent attempt to silence any evolutionary narrative that wasn't his own.


Speaker(s):

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

19 October 2009 at 7:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
London
W1S 4BS
020 7409 2992
http://www.rigb.org/

More at The Royal Institution...

 

Tickets:

Free, booking required

Available from:

For more information visit www.rigb.org or call the Events Team on 020 7409 2992 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday

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