Thomas Jefferson, The Lunar Society and the Darwins

April 14, 2017, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Venue: 
Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
326 W. Francis St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

When Thomas Jefferson visited John Adams in London, they eventually made their way to Birmingham's Soho house, home to that bastion of enlightenment thinking, The Lunar Society.  Jefferson's mentor and friend, William Small, was one the Society's illustrious members, as were Joseph Priestly and Josiah Wedgewood.  Erasmus Darwin too was a member of the Lunar society.  Famous in his own right, today we know him best for being the grandfather of Charles Darwin, who shocked the world, and revolutionized the sciences with his theory of evolution by natural selection.Here, a modern evolutionary biologist (Lee Dugatkin) will step back in time and use these connections to the Lunar Society to probe Mr. Jefferson on his thoughts about natural history in general, and more critically, to explore Jefferson's reaction when he is introduced to Erasmus's grandson's earth shaking ideas on the history and diversity of life on earth. $5 in addition to Museum Admission.