University of Exeter, Thursday 26th – Friday 27th June 2014

UPDATE: we are pleased to announce that registration for this event is now open. The workshop will take place from Thursday 26th to Friday 27th June 2014. The event is supported by both the British Society for the History of Science and the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.

For further details, please visit the workshop website.

The conference programme (also available on the website) includes three plenary talks by the following invited speakers: Helen Curry (University of Cambridge), Jon Hodge (University of Leeds), and Joeri Witteveen (Universiteit Utrecht).

Places at the event are limited, so if you wish to attend please register soon. The registration fee is £30 for the whole workshop, click HERE to register.

A workshop organised around the theme of ‘the “artificial” and the “natural” in the life sciences, c. 1850-1950′ will take place in Byrne House, University of Exeter, UK, from 25th-27th June 2014. While the final programme will be finalised only in March 2014, the event is anticipated to run from midday on Wednesday 25th to lunchtime on Friday 27th.

The purpose of this workshop will be to bring together historians, philosophers and sociologists with an interest in the history of the life sciences, particularly postgraduates, in order to discuss the manner in which particular views of art (and artifice or the artificial) and nature (or the natural) influenced the natural sciences in the pivotal century between 1850 and 1950.

Topic that are particularly relevant for this workshop include:

– the relationship of artificial selection and natural selection in evolutionary theory;

– eugenics and other ‘scientific’ utopian projects for human society;

– the impact of synthetic chemistry on conceptions of living nature;

– the rejection of ‘naturalism’ and rise of experimental laboratory biology, especially physiology, biochemistry, experimental embryology and genetics;

– and the influence of new ideas of the relationship of art and nature on cultural practices such as agriculture and land management.


The line-up of main speakers for the workshop is now confirmed:

Helen Curry (University of Cambridge)

Jon Hodge (University of Leeds)

Joeri Witteveen (Universiteit Utrecht)


This event is supported by the BSHS, and student travel bursaries are available for participants.

For more information, please visit the conference website.