Wallace, Darwin and Evolution exhibition at Tring

13 October 2008

Wallace, Darwin and Evolution is a new exhibition, opening today, at the Natural History Museum at Tring.

It's a rare opportunity to see original specimens that helped two great British scientists conceive the theory of evolution by natural selection.

This theory belonged to Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and was their explanation for how such an amazing diversity of life on Earth came about. It created the biggest revolution in science the world has ever seen.

'When Wallace and Darwin proposed their theory 150 years ago, it changed the way that scientists thought about life on Earth,' says Paul Kitching, manager of the Natural History Museum at Tring. 

'So it’s a real privilege to be able to showcase these documents and specimens collected by both men at Tring.'

'It’s also nice to commemorate the work of Wallace who was born in Hertfordshire'.

Working in different ways

Wallace and Darwin worked independently and in very different ways but both came up with the same idea. 

Find out how travelling around South America and southeast Asia collecting insects and birds influenced Wallace while Darwin was much more at home with domestic pigeons.

Discover how these men, from very different backgrounds worked on their theories and find out more about Wallace’s contributions to science as one of Britain’s greatest naturalists.

Original letters

Visitors to the exhibition will see letters written by Wallace including the letter he wrote to J D Hooker, thanking him for the announcement of his and Darwin’s theories at the Linnean Society in 1858. 

This letter is only on display at Tring for the first three weeks of the exhibition, afterwards it will form part of the Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London.

Talks at Tring

There will be talks about Wallace and Darwin during the exhibition about Darwin’s pigeons and Wallace’s beginnings as a Hertford schoolboy.

Wallace, Darwin and Evolution is open 13 October – 18 January 2008 and is one of the events in Darwin200, a national programme celebrating Darwin’s ideas and their impact around his 200th birthday.

Further information