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Science History Podcast

Aug 11, 2018

The Natural History Museum in London houses the greatest collection of natural history specimens in the world, collected for centuries by British explorers and scientists.  In Part 2 of this episode on British explorers, my guests Andrea Hart and Max Barclay explain the role that these specimens and associated artwork played in the development of major scientific advances.  Foremost among these specimens are the beetles, which held an outsized role in the history of evolutionary biology as well as in the childhood pursuits of collectors such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace.  Andrea is the Head of Special Collections at the Natural History Museum, and Max is the Senior Curator in Charge of the beetle collection.  So let’s travel the world, from Africa to the Amazon to Australia and learn about the wonderful diversity of beetles, the eccentric people who collected them, and how their ideas changed the world.  We’ll do all this surrounded by annotated manuscripts, natural history drawings and specimens of the world’s largest beetles within a Special Collections room of the Natural History Museum.