Talk The Invention of Nature. The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt – Andrea Wulf

The Invention of Nature © John Murray | Detail

Sun, 30.06.2019


Natural History Museum

More than 200 years ago, the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt shaped our understanding of nature forever. Author Andrea Wulf brings this often forgotten hero of science back to life.

Andrea Wulf reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an brave explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax–infested Siberia. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change.
Hosted by the Goethe-Institut London, celebrating the 250th birth year of Humboldt, the talk draws from the award-winning beststeller “The Invention of Nature” by Andrea Wulf, published in 2015 and her new graphic novel “The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt”. Humboldt's life resonates with the original vision of the Albertopolis – combining science and arts for the benefit of our society – like no other. He turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth and Goethe but also politicians such as Jefferson. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he inspired in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature. The audience will gain an insight into the century of world exploration but also have a better perspective on questions that linger on until today.

This event is part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival.

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