Spring Lecture at Yale: Richard O. Prum, The Evolution of Beauty
The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Spring 2018 Lecture
The Evolution of Beauty
By Richard O. Prum, Ph.D.
The William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Richard Prum is the author of
The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – And Us
Chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the Best Books of 2017!*
”If a science book can be subversive and feminist and change the way we look at our own bodies — but also be mostly about birds — this is it.” **
“A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed ‘the taste for the beautiful’—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.”
* And by the Wall Street Journal and Smithsonian.
** ”If a science book can be subversive and feminist and change the way we look at our own bodies — but also be mostly about birds — this is it. Prum, an ornithologist, mounts a defense of Darwin’s second, largely overlooked theory of sexual selection. Darwin believed that, in addition to evolving to adapt to the environment, some other force must be at work shaping the species: the aesthetic mating choices made largely by the females. Prum wants subjectivity and the desire for beauty to be part of our understanding of how evolution works. It’s a passionate plea that begins with birds and ends with humans and will help you finally understand, among other things, how in the world we have an animal like the peacock.”