*Annual A. R. Wallace Lecture 2015*
Thursday 2nd July 2015
Flett Events Theatre, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London
Wallace, Darwin, and Spiritualism: The Trial of the Spirit-Medium Henry Slade, 1876
Richard Milner (American Museum of Natural History and Director, Alfred Russel Wallace Centenary Celebration)
In 1876, the renowned spirit-medium, Henry Slade, was the focus of a bizarre courtroom trial in London brought by one of Thomas Henry Huxley’s zoology students – the first time a scientist had prosecuted a “psychic” in a court of law for conducting fraudulent “experiments” in the paranormal. England’s two greatest naturalists – Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace – took opposing sides when the “supernatural” went on trial. Richard Milner’s scholarly sleuthing uncovers this forgotten episode in the history of science, and offers entertaining insights into the personalities and beliefs of the co-founders of evolutionary biology.
About Richard Milner
Richard is an Associate in Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, and currently co-editor of Special Alfred Russel Wallace Issues of Natural History and Skeptic magazines. Milner’s books include Darwin’s Universe: Evolution from A to Z and The Encyclopedia of Evolution. His most recent book is a tribute to his boyhood hero, paleoartist Charles R. Knight: The Artist Who Saw Through Time (Abrams, 2012). Milner has performed his one-man musical, “Charles Darwin: Live & In Concert,” all over the world---including in Darwin’s beloved Galapagos Islands. He is director of the Alfred Russel Wallace Centenary Celebration, which produced public conferences on Wallace at UCLA, North Carolina Museum of Science, and at the American Museum of Natural History, with a keynote talk by Sir David Attenborough. Milner’s Wallace Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, has also helped to support the Wallace Correspondence Project at the NHM, which has placed the great naturalist’s voluminous correspondence online free to scholars and the general public.
All welcome! Please enter the Museum via the entrance in Exhibition Road and allow time for possible queuing to get in. For information on how to get to the Flett Theatre see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/news-events/seminars/attending/ The museum closes at 18.00, so please be out of the building by then.
*The annual Wallace Lecture is organised by the Wallace Correspondence Project - http://wallaceletters.info/*