Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Why is natural history history, and what kind of history is it? To answer these questions, Paola Bertucci, Associate Professor of History and History of Medicine, and curator of the Peabody’s History of Science and Technology Division, will focus on natural history as it was practiced from the 16th to the 18th centuries, well before Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution. Beginning with the rediscovery of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History in the Renaissance, this illustrated talk will explore the meanings that natural history came to acquire by the time of the Scientific Revolution, and ask how early collections, museums, catalogues, herbaria, and encyclopedias shaped definitions of nature and the place of humans within it.