Night Science

Alfred Russel Wallace and night science by candlelight

April 01, 2023 Season 3 Episode 9
Alfred Russel Wallace and night science by candlelight
Night Science
More Info
Night Science
Alfred Russel Wallace and night science by candlelight
Apr 01, 2023 Season 3 Episode 9

Send us a Text Message.

What was the creative process of Alfred Russel Wallace? In this séance, we channel the legendary self-taught evolutionary biologist, founder of the field of biogeography, and co-discoverer of natural selection. Mr. Wallace (as he insists to be called) told us how he did night science by candlelight during long and lonely nights on his travels in the tropics, and how he prefers to ponder the big questions. He sees himself as an early data scientist, identifying patterns in data – in particular in the study of beetles, with both him and Darwin afflicted by beetlemania. He feels that he has an advantage over Darwin because of his less fancy and less structured education: while Mr. Darwin was force-fed the then-current world view, Mr. Wallace was free to read the books that excited him.

This episode could not have been recorded without Mr. Wallace speaking through the  voice of a medium who knows his life and works in exquisite detail: Dr. Andrew Berry, lecturer for evolutionary biology at Harvard.

For more information on Night Science, visit https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/night-science .

Show Notes

Send us a Text Message.

What was the creative process of Alfred Russel Wallace? In this séance, we channel the legendary self-taught evolutionary biologist, founder of the field of biogeography, and co-discoverer of natural selection. Mr. Wallace (as he insists to be called) told us how he did night science by candlelight during long and lonely nights on his travels in the tropics, and how he prefers to ponder the big questions. He sees himself as an early data scientist, identifying patterns in data – in particular in the study of beetles, with both him and Darwin afflicted by beetlemania. He feels that he has an advantage over Darwin because of his less fancy and less structured education: while Mr. Darwin was force-fed the then-current world view, Mr. Wallace was free to read the books that excited him.

This episode could not have been recorded without Mr. Wallace speaking through the  voice of a medium who knows his life and works in exquisite detail: Dr. Andrew Berry, lecturer for evolutionary biology at Harvard.

For more information on Night Science, visit https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/night-science .