Harvard Project #3: An address to the National Science Foundation

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 #3: The value of the Darwin & Gender project, addressed to the National Science Foundation, by Cassidy Bommer.

Our third entry was written by Cassidy Bommer, a visiting undergraduate student at Harvard. Cassidy will graduate from Mount Holyoke College in 2013 with a degree in Biological Sciences and a certificate in Culture, Health, and Science. Her interest in the intersections between evolution, anthropology, and gender studies led her to take Professor Richardson’s course, and she hopes to apply some of what she has learned this semester to her senior honors thesis next year.
Addressed to the National Science Foundation, a U.S. government agency responsible for promoting research in science and engineering, Cassidy argues that the ‘Darwin & Gender’ project has the potential to increase our insight into the workings of gender in the present as much as in the past. Her engaging plea draws attention to the impact that social and cultural patterns – as well as ‘lived experiences’ – can have on the production and communication of science. Cassidy also highlights the specific value of private correspondence, showing its potential to complicate our understanding of Darwin’s core ideas, including his theory of sexual selection.


See entries number one and two.


Posted by Philippa Hardman

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