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Darwin’s Pressed Plants: Part of His Mental Architecture

Darwin’s Pressed Plants: Part of His Mental Architecture
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Morris Library, Class of 1941 Lecture Room
Maura C. Flannery
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About this Event

John Henslow taught botany to Charles Darwin at Cambridge University. Henslow had an herbarium, or a collection of pressed plants, where he would often paste several specimens of a species on one sheet to show variation within a species. Darwin went on collecting trips with his mentor, contributing specimens to the herbarium. Later, when Darwin sent him pressed plants he collected while on the HMS Beagle, Henslow had difficulty identifying them because they were so different from British plants.

Join Maura C. Flannery to explore how plant collecting became an important part of Darwin’s “mental architecture.” Along with Henslow’s influence, attendees will learn about Joseph Dalton Hooker, who went on to describe Darwin’s collected plants and who would become one of his closest confidants.

Maura C. Flannery is professor emerita of biology at St. John’s University and research affiliate for the A.C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina. In addition to authoring three books, she was a monthly essayist for the American Biology Teacher for 30 years. Flannery is an advocate for the intersection of arts and science; the importance of an appreciation for history; and the role of female naturalists, collectors, artists and scientists over the history of biology.

This is the keynote lecture for the University’s 2024 International Darwin Day celebration. Registration is required as seating is limited. The event will not be recorded.

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