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Linnaeus, Race and Sex

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Was Linnaeus a racist? Is he the father of modern scientific racism? A Day Meeting to explore ‘race’ and ‘sex’ in Linnaeus’ work and beyond

About this Event

Many of Linnaeus’s contributions to the natural sciences are well-known and rightly celebrated. But a full assessment of his legacy must also include investigation into more uncomfortable areas, too.

This Day Meeting will bring together researchers from different disciplines (natural sciences, evolutionary biology, philosophy, history of science and gender studies) to discuss ‘race’ and ‘sex’ in Linnaeus’ work and beyond.

Placing these aspects of Linnaeus’s work in their appropriate scientific and historical contexts, speakers will discuss their influence in the social and cultural context of contemporary debates on the history of the idea of ‘race’ and decolonial approaches to natural history and on sex and gender in science. Was Linnaeus a racist? Is he the father of modern scientific racism? Did his ‘sexual system’ shore up a conservative and sexist view of gender relations? The audience is invited to discuss these and other questions with a distinguished panel of speakers: Malin Ah-King, Patricia Fara, Miranda Lowe, Staffan Müller-Wille, Stella Sandford and Josias Tembo.

Linnean Society Fellows and Members get special 50% off. Please contact Padma@linnean.org to get the discount code.

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PROGRAMME

10.00–10.05 Welcome and practical information

10.05-10.30 Stella Sandford (Linnaeus, 'Sex' and 'Race')

10.30–11.00 Miranda Lowe (TBC)

11.00–11.20 Discussion

11.20–11.40 BREAK

11.40–12.10 Staffan Müller-Wille (‘Human Diversity from Linnaeus’s Point of View’)

12.10–12.40 Josias Tembo (‘Linnaeus between the concept of race and geography’)

12.40-13.00 Discussion

13.00–14.00 LUNCH BREAK

14.00–14.30 Patricia Fara (Sexual Politics: Erasmus Darwin and The Loves of the Plants’)

14.30–15.00 Malin Ah-King (Sex and sexuality from an evolutionary perspective’)

15.00–15.20 Discussion

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