March 26, 2015: Evolution in Musuems

Science Pub RVA #22

Evolution in Museums: a history of an education controversy

Dr. Rader discussed the long and complicated history of museums presenting evolution and how debates about them has itself evolved in the U.S.

Dr. Karen Rader
Associate Professor Virginia Commonwealth University

Karen Rader is a science historian and associate professor in the VCU Department of History. Her first book, Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955 (Princeton UP, 2004) won a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book award. Recently, she co-authored with Victoria Cain a book titled Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Natural History and Science in the Twentieth Century, which examines the interplay between biological exhibits and shifting perspectives of science in our society.

Dr. Rader directs VCU’s Science, Technology & Society which supports interdisciplinary connections through open-to-the-public lectures, coordinated curricular planning and faculty research and teaching development. Rader arrived at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006 from Sarah Lawrence College having served as the Marilyn Simpson Chair of Science and Society from 1998 to 2006. She earned her B.S. in Biology at Loyola College (now Loyola University) and her M.A. and Ph.D in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University. In 2013 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

This was one of three programs offered in partnership with the Chesterfield County Public Library, host of the Smithsonian’s Exploring Humans Origins traveling exhibit which is open to the public for four weeks beginning March 31