Harvard Project #1: The Amazing Dar-Man

Following the success of last year’s collaboration, the Darwin and Gender project is delighted to team up again with students at the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University.


Students of Prof. Sarah Richardson’s Sex, Gender and Evolution course have used the correspondence to produce a series of projects on the theme of ‘Darwin and Gender’ and four of the most  thought provoking, inspiring and entertaining entries will appear here over the next few weeks.


Project #1: The Amazing Dar-Man & The Mighty Atomic Girl in “Darwin and Gender”, by Taylor Freret

Our first entry was created by Taylor Freret, a senior Chemistry student from Los Altos, California. As a woman scientist, Taylor feels passionate about exploring the history of science through the lens of sex and gender in part to expose the origin of ideas which continue to pervade discussions about women in the world of science today.


The Amazing Dar-Man provides an entertaining and concise introduction to the aims and motivations of the Darwin and Gender research project. According to Taylor; “I have always viewed Darwin as a major force in modern science. Both his systematic observation of the natural world and his willingness to challenge established cultural and religious norms have made him somewhat of a hero to me, which is why I was rather taken aback by many of the things that Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man.


Although he was certainly ahead of his time in many ways, in gender ideas he was very much a Victorian scientist who believed women to be inherently intellectually inferior. In this comic strip, I wanted to chronicle my own investigation into Darwin’s ideas about women and see if I could reconcile them with the man who is in large part responsible for my passion for science.”


Read more about Taylor’s project or view the entire comic strip. To read full versions of the correspodence used in this project, follow the links below:


Charles Darwin to Caroline Wedgwood: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-542

Charles Darwin to Henrietta Darwin: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-7124

Charles Darwin to Mary Treat: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-8146

Florence Dixie to Charles Darwin: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-12795

Charles Darwin to Caroline Kennard: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-13607

Caroline Kennard to Charles Darwin: http://learning.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-13650


Posted by Philippa Hardman




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *