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Grant number like: FB-54020-08

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Tina Gianquitto
Trustees of the Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO 80401-1843)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2009 – 12/31/2009

Charles Darwin's Female Correspondents and the Development of 19th-Century Science

This project investigates American and British women's participation in the epistolary tradition in late nineteenth-century scientific research. Charles Darwin and his extensive informal network of female correspondents form the focal point of this study. Evidence in Darwin's correspondence shows that beginning early in his career, he often turned to the women in his circle--personal friends and family members, as well as amateur and professional women scientists in England and America--to perform experiments that contributed directly to his research. These letters demonstrate the "domestic observation"-- close observation of infants, children, and family pets--that Darwin relied upon to provide the crucial evidence that bolstered the arguments for co-adaptation and interspecies relationships articulated in his later works (1872). Equally importantly, women relied on their affiliations with Darwin and used his letters to guide their own scientific, literary, and reform endeavors.