Speaker: Richard Bellon

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Dr. Richard Bellon

Dr. Richard Bellon is an assistant professor at Michigan State University. He is a historian of nineteenth-century science which means that, for much of the last several years, he has devoted much of his time to men with muttonchops who obsessed over the sex lives of plants.

His 2011 essay, "Inspiration in the Harness of Daily Labor: Darwin, Botany and the Triumph of Evolution, 1859-1868," won the 2013 Derek Price/Rob Webster Prize from the History of Science Society.

Dr. Bellon’s 2014 book A Sincere and Teachable Heart: Self-Denying Virtue in British Intellectual Life, 1736-1859 moves beyond the history of Victorian science to argue that respectability and authority in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain were not grounded foremost in ideas or specialist skills but in the self-denying virtues of patience and humility.

His currently research focuses on the history of Victorian natural history, particularly the reception of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection in the 1860s.

Bellon teaches in both History and the Lyman Briggs College. His classes cover a wide range of topics, including freshmen introductions to the history, philosophy and sociology of science; history seminars on Victorian Britain; graduate courses on the history of biology; surveys of the history of molecular biology and biotechnology; and seminars on contemporary science policy.