Peter J. Bowler

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This article is about the historian of science. For other people, see Peter Bowler.
Peter J. Bowler at the 2007 History of Science Society meeting

Peter J. Bowler (born 1944) is a historian of biology who has written extensively on the history of evolutionary thought, the history of the environmental sciences, and on the history of genetics. His 1984 book, Evolution: The History of an Idea is a standard textbook on the history of evolution, and was substantially revised in 2003 and a 25th anniversary edition came in 2009. His 1983 book The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolution Theories in the Decades Around 1900 describes the scientific and social challenges to Darwinism which led many to abandon the theory in the first part of the twentieth century.

Peter Bowler holds a BA from the University of Cambridge an MSc from the University of Sussex and a PhD from the University of Toronto. In the 1970s he taught at the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. He is currently a professor in the history of science at Queen's University Belfast, and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a corresponding member of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. He was President of the British Society for the History of Science 2004-6.[1]

His current interests are in the development and implications of Darwinism, the history of the environmental sciences, science and religion (especially twentieth century), and popular science writing. Current research is on the production of popular science literature in early twentieth-century Britain, with particular emphasis on the role played by professional scientists.[1] Bowler discusses the attempts by Victorian scientists to promote science for public understanding and the increasing accessibility of popular science works.[2]

Bowler has criticised creationism in Northern Ireland. He has made appearances on local radio, including interviews with William Crawley on BBC Radio Ulster shows TalkBack and Sunday Sequence - here he defended evolution and highlighted the non-scientific nature of creationism.[3] [4]

Select publications[edit]

  • Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World Without Darwin (University of Chicago Press, 2013).[5] ISBN 0226068676
  • Science for All: The Popularization of Science in Early Twentieth-Century Britain (Chicago, 2009).[2]
  • Evolution: the history of an idea (4th ed., California, 2009, ISBN 0520261283).
  • Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons Evolution and Christianity form Darwin to Intelligent Design (Harvard University Press, 2007)
  • 'Experts and publishers: writing popular science in early twentieth-century Britain' in British Journal for the History of Science, xxxix (2006).
  • (With I.R. Morus) Making modern science: a historical survey (Chicago, 2005).
  • 'The spectre of Darwinism: popular images of Darwinism in early twentieth-century Britain' in A. Lustig, R.J. Richards and M. Rose (eds), Darwinian Heresies (Cambridge, 2004).
  • Reconciling science and religion: the debate in early twentieth-century Britain (Chicago, 2001).
  • Life’s splendid drama: evolutionary biology and the reconstruction of life’s ancestry, 1860–1940 (Chicago, 1996).
  • Charles Darwin: the man and his influence (Cambridge, 1996).
  • Biology and Social Thought: 1850-1914 : Five Lectures Delivered at the International Summer School in History of Science Uppsala, July 1990 (Univ of California, 1993)
  • The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolution Theories in the Decades Around 1900 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983)
  • The Non-Darwinian Revolution: Reinterpreting a Historical Myth (Johns Hopkins University Press, New Edition, 1988)
  • The Fontana History of the Environmental Sciences (Fontana Press, 1992)
  • The Mendelian Revolution: The Emergence of Hereditarian Concepts in Modern Science and Society (Continuum International, Athlone, 1989)
  • The Invention of Progress: Victorians and the Past (Wiley-Blackwell, 1989)
  • Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate, 1844-1944 (Wiley-Blackwell 1987)
  • Fossils and Progress: Palaeontology and the Idea of Progressive Evolution in the Nineteenth Century (1976) ISBN 0882020439

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Peter Bowler's QUB staff page
  2. ^ a b PJ Bowler Science For All, Chicago Univ Press 2009
  3. ^ BBC Radio Ulster TalkBack, broadcast 15 September 2008
  4. ^ BBC Radio Ulster Sunday Sequence, broadcast 2 December 2007
  5. ^ Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World Without Darwin, 2013
  6. ^ Darwin: Off The Record,2010
  7. ^ Darwin's Originality, in Science, 9 January 2009

External links[edit]