William W. and Mary B. Ritter Memorial Fellowship
All are invited to a free public lecture by Scripps Oceanography’s 2017 William E. and Mary B. Ritter Memorial Fellowship winner, Rodolfo John Alaniz of UC Berkeley’s Department of History.
Alaniz’s lecture, titled “Darwin in the Deep: How Marine Biology Created & Destroyed 19th-Century Natural Selection,” will take place on June 16, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society & the Environment.
Description: The nineteenth century was the era of marine biology. The debate over natural selection, as a dominant biological question of the age, originated from the study of the oceans. This lecture traces the ways that evolutionary theories were tied to marine science, especially the newer fields of deep-sea biology and marine geology—and even the birth of the Scripps Institution itself.
Admission to the lecture is free, and there will be a reception to follow.
Alaniz is a rising star in science studies and has background in both genetics and history. He received his undergraduate degree in genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and his PhD from UC San Diego in history and science studies.
He combined the subjects of genetics and history in his dissertation, “Dredging Evolutionary Theory, the emergence of the deep sea as a site for evolution 1853-1876.” He has also worked on related modern topics such as the Genesis of the Salk Institute, and the Human Genome Project.
As a graduate student, Alaniz helped to organize a national symposium on the history of oceanography, titled “The Blue Marble: A History of Oceans and Climates,” that was held at Scripps Oceanography in collaboration with the Heritage Committee.
Alaniz is the 14th recipient of the Ritter Memorial Fellowship, which was designed to encourage the study of the history of the marine sciences. Fellowship recipients may be historians, scientists, or other scholars whose research is likely to enlarge and deepen understanding of the history of the earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences.
More information and a list of prize recipients is available at the Ritter Memorial Fellowship webpage.