HPS in 20 Objects Lecture 18: Bugs and Butterflies

The Insect Teaching Collection - Utility and the Life Sciences in the Age of Empire

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a number of new scientific disciplines sought to control nature for the economic benefit of the British Empire. Among these were economic entomology and economic ornithology. Both disciplines sought to control insect pests for the benefit of human health and agriculture: one through improved knowledge of insect behaviour and the other through the use of birds as a form of biological control. Join Matthew Holmes to examine how the rapid rise of these disciplines was shaped by the demands of Empire, before exploring their equally rapid decline. Twentieth-century biology was profoundly influenced by a powerful concoction of political forces and imperial ambition.

Tea and coffee will be served outside the lecture at 6.15pm. All are welcome, no prior knowledge is needed.