The history of Western civilization can be divided neatly into pre-Darwinian and post-Darwinian periods. Darwin’s 1859 treatise, On the Origin of Species, was not the first work to propose that organisms had descended from other, earlier organisms and the mechanism of evolution it proposed remained controversial for years. Nevertheless, no biologist after 1859 could ignore Darwin’s theories and few areas of thought and culture remained immune to their influence. Darwinism was attacked, defended, debated, modified, ridiculed, championed, interpreted, and used not only by biologists but also by philosophers, priests, sociologists, warmongers, cartoonists, robber-barons, psychologists, novelists, and politicians of arious stripes.
Professor Chandak Sengoopta (University of London)
Dr. Sengoopta is a senior lecturer in the history of modern medicine and science at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London. He received his bachelor of medicine and surgery degree from Medical College, Calcutta. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in history of science, medicine and technology. In addition to his extensive research revolving around the history of the behavioural and life sciences in Central Europe, he has published articles on a wide variety of topics in the history of science and medicine.