Robert Richards

Prof. Robert Richards

Famed Darwin Scholar to Speak

March 31, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – This year marks the bicentennial celebration of Charles Darwin's birth. To honor the date, Illinois Wesleyan University’s History Department and the history honors society, Phi Alpha Theta, are sponsoring a lecture by Darwin expert Professor Robert J. Richards.

Richards will give a talk titled “Darwin's Biology of Intelligent Design” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8 in the Hansen Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The Director of the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, Richards is a professor at the University of Chicago in the departments of History, Philosophy and Psychology. In his research, he has traced the concept of evolution from the 17th century up to Darwin, and contemporary neo-Darwinians.

Richards Book Cover

Professor Richards, a prolific writer and author of more than 100 articles and presentations, has written such books as the award-wining Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (University of Chicago Press, 1987), which was honored with the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Prize for the Best Book in the History of Science in 1988. He has also authored The Tragic Sense of Life:  Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought (University of Chicago Press, 2008), The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe (University of Chicago Press, 2002), The Meaning of Evolution:  The Morphological Construction and Ideological Reconstruction of Darwin’s Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1992) and Darwinian Heresies, edited with Abigail Lustig and Michael Ruse (Cambridge University Press, 2004).                        

Holding doctorate degrees from St. Louis University and the University of Chicago, Richards is a member of the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, a graduate program dedicated to the study of history, philosophy and the social relations of science.  He teaches courses in the history of biology and psychology, the philosophy of history and German intellectual history.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960