|Post:||Reader in the History of Science (History)|
|Location:||Arts A A166|
|International:||+44 1273 678005|
|download vCarddownload vCard to your mobile|
I am a specialist in the history of science, with particular interest in the impact of empire on nineteenth-century Britain, science and literature, and in the reception and influence of Darwinism. I am interested in hearing from prospective postgraduate students with interests in any area of Victorian British history, particularly the history of the sciences, or in the early/mid-twentieth century life sciences, particularly their social and cultural impacts.
During 2010, I was a Distinguished International Scholar and visiting professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
My first book, A Guinea Pig's History of Biology (2007), won the Royal Society of Literature's Jerwood Prize and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. It has been published in hardback and paperback in the UK and USA, and a Spanish translation was published in 2009 and a German translation appeared in October 2012. My second, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the practices of Victorian Science (2008), was published by the University of Chicago Press and appeared in paperback in 2010. I edited a new edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species that was published by Cambridge University Press in May 2009.
I am currently writing a cultural history of the Orchid for Reaktion books and will then write a history of imperial science and classification for Atlantic Books (UK) that will be published by Metropolitan Books (Henry Holt & Company) in the US. Tentatively called A Place for Everything: how science and empire ordered the world, it will explore the connections between science and empire during Coleridge's "Second Scientific Revolution", by looking at the ways new sciences were shaped by new classifications.
My next research project will involve a comparative study of Anglo-American biology in the early twentieth century, looking at the ways in which the broad social and cultural impacts of new biological discoveries functioned to shape the public sphere.
I did my first degree in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of New South Wales, followed by an MPhil and PhD in the HPS Department at Cambridge, after which I was a post-doctoral research fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge. I joined Sussex in 2007, was promoted to senior lecturer in 2009 and to Reader in the History of Science in 2013.
History of the 19th and 20th-century life sciences, especially natural history museums and botanic gardens; Joseph Dalton Hooker; history of taxonomy and classification; Charles Darwin, evolution and related issues; development of twentieth-century evolutionary biology; history and sociology of experimental organisms; Constantine Samuel Rafinesque; Orchids; Hugo de Vries, the Mutation Theory and Oenothera Lamarckiana.
I teach the following courses:
Britain in the Nineteenth Century
This course concentrates on British History from the end of the eighteenth century until 1914. Students are introduced to some of the major themes in the period’s social and cultural history and to key contributions to its historiography. A key theme of the course is the gentleman, a word whose meaning was much debated even though everyone agreed on its importance. Arguments about whether gentlemen were born or made were in part a symptom of the rise of the middle class and the emergence of new professions such as novelists, scientists and engineers whose respectability and social status were uncertain. More broadly, these debates were products of the anonymity of life in large cities; in the countryside, people knew each other and knew who to trust, but these old networks broke down in the cities. City life was also thought to breed sin, and many Victorians linked falling church attendance to the growth in prostitution and worked feverishly to build churches and rescue “fallen” women. Questions of respectability were also at the heart of Victorian family life, where women were expected to maintain the nation’s morals by counteracting the brutalising effects of the world men worked in; a world in which ruthless competition between individuals, businesses and nations was increasingly seen as the natural order. Although women were supposedly confined to their “separate sphere” of domesticity and child-bearing, the amount of effort men spent in persuading them of the desirability of these roles is evidence of the number of women who were refusing these roles and looking for careers and opportunities beyond the home. The course will look at how women worked to change their place in society, including the ways in which they challenged men to be fully involved in family life. Other topics include: industrialisation and class, including their depiction in paintings and photographs; religious revival and decline; woman and the extension of the franchise; the invention of imperial traditions; and, the growth of leisure and a consumer society. The key goal of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a rich historical understanding of Britain across the nineteenth century.
Past & Present: Science and History
This is a third year course. Its aim is to understand how some important contemporary scientific issues have been shaped by history, as a way of helping you develop a critical facility in the literature and historiography of key issues in the history of science. The emphasis is on seeing science as an integral part of wider issues in social, political, economic and cultural history; a key theme of the course is the relationship between science and imperialism, which exemplifies these wider connections.
Special Subject: The Century of the Gene
At the beginning of the twentieth century, no-one knew anything about genetics (the word itself had yet to be coined), yet by the century’s end, you could buy cheap, do-it-yourself genetic tests on the internet. This course investigates the ways in which advances in scientific knowledge has affected our sense of ourselves, so that the very phrase ‘human nature’ has increasingly come to mean something fixed by our genes. The language of genetics has had a powerful effect on political discourse; the eugenic ideal of creating a superior type of human was supposed to have died with Hitler, yet seems to live on in routine genetic testing and screening, and in the fantasy of ‘designer babies’. The idea of a genetic blueprint, and of being able to read – and perhaps to edit and re-write – the DNA ‘code’, has shaped popular culture, from television and cinema to novels and computer games. This course examines a broad and diverse range of primary sources – from accessible scientific texts to comic books and movies – looking at ideas like cloning, ‘designer babies’, mutation and genetic engineering – to understand the ways in which genetics became the defining science of the twentieth century, a science that has reshaped the world we live in.
I also lecture on the first-year survey course The Making of the Modern World.
No more office hours this year: please email for an appointment if you need to see me before September.
Endersby, Jim (2013) Mutant utopias: evening primroses and imagined futures in early-twentieth-century America. Isis, 104 (3). ISSN 00211753 (In Press)
Griggs, Pat and Endersby, Jim (2012) Joseph Hooker : Botanical Trailblazer. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK. ISBN 9781842464694
Griggs, Pat and Endersby, Jim (2011) Joseph Hooker: botanical trailblazer. Kew Publishing, Richmond. ISBN 9781842464694
Endersby, Jim (2011) A Life More Ordinary: The Dull Life but Interesting Times of Joseph Dalton Hooker. Journal of the History of Biology, 44 (4). pp. 611-631. ISSN 0022-5010
Endersby, Jim (2009) Lumpers and splitters: Darwin, Hooker, and the search for order. Science, 326 (5959). pp. 1496-1499. ISSN 0036-8075
Endersby, Jim (2009) Sympathetic science: Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker and the passions of Victorian naturalists. Victorian Studies, 51 (2). pp. 299-320. ISSN 0042-5222
Endersby, Jim (2009) 'The vagaries of a Rafinesque': imagining and classifying American nature. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 40 (3). pp. 168-178. ISSN 1369-8486
Endersby, Jim (2009) Una historia de la biología según el conejillo de Indias: Las plantas y los animales que nos han enseñado a entender la vida. Editorial Ariel. ISBN 9788434488144
Endersby, Dr Jim, ed. (2009) Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection. Cambridge University Press. ISBN ISBN-13:-97805218
Endersby, Jim (2009) Darwin on generation, pangenesis and sexual selection. In: Cambridge companion to Darwin. Cambridge companions to philosophy . Cambridge University Press, pp. 69-91. ISBN 9780521777308
Endersby, Jim (2009) A Gunn and two Hookers: friendships that shaped science. In: In the wake of the "Beagle": science in the southern oceans from the age of Darwin. UNSW Press, pp. 74-87. ISBN 9781921410949
Endersby, Dr Jim, ed. (2009) On the Origin of Species. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521867092
Endersby, Jim (2008) Imperial nature: Joseph Hooker and the practices of Victorian science. University of Chicage Press. ISBN 9780226207919
Endersby, Jim (2008) Joseph Hooker: a philosophical botanist. Journal of Biosciences, 33 (2). pp. 163-169. ISSN 0250-5991
Endersby, Jim (2005) Classifying sciences: Systematics and status in mid-Victorian natural history. In: The organisation of knowledge in Victorian Britain. British Academy centenary monographs . Oxford University Press, pp. 61-85. ISBN 9780197263266
Endersby, Jim (2001) 'From having no herbarium.' Local knowledge versus metropolitan expertise: Joseph Hooker's Australasian correspondence with William Colenso and Ronald Gunn. Pacific Science, 55 (4). pp. 343-358. ISSN 0030-8870
Endersby, Jim (2001) 'The realm of hard evidence': novelty, persuasion and collaboration in botanical cladistics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 32 (2). pp. 343-360. ISSN 1369-8486
Endersby, Jim (2001) A guinea pig's history of biology: the plants and animals who taught us the facts of life. Arrow. ISBN 9780099471240
Endersby, Jim (2000) A garden enclosed: botanical barter in Sydney, 1818-39. British Journal of the History of Science, 33 (3). pp. 313-334. ISSN 0007-0874
Endersby, Jim (1997) The evolving museum. Public Understanding of Science, 6 (2). pp. 185-206. ISSN 0963-6625