Raising awareness in Thurrock of Alfred Russel Wallace

AR Wallace and Darwin were co-discoverers of the Theory of Natural Selection.

Funding was used by volunteers of Thurrock Local History Society to collate material for displays about the little-known achievements of Alfred Russell Wallace who was resident at The Dell in Grays Thurrock in the 19th century.

Working with the help of Thurrock Museum and Thurrock Heritage Forum, volunteers learnt about the life of AR Wallace, the part he played in developing evolutionary theory (specifically natural selection) and his other notable contributions to science. They also researched the building of The Dell and Victorian life in Thurrock to provide context to Wallace’s life.

At the time the idea of evolutionary theory was introduced, Wallace was just as well known as Darwin

The chair of Thurrock Local History Society summarised the key aspects of the project: “Everyone has heard of Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection but no one these days seems to have heard of Alfred Russell Wallace. At the time the idea of evolutionary theory was introduced, Wallace was just as well known as Darwin, if not better known but over time Wallace was blurred out of the picture. The project gave an opportunity to rectify that. His profile and his contribution to ideas about natural selection have certainly been raised in Thurrock. The booklets that were produced through the project went like wildfire – people were really interested”

Display panels and a booklet about Wallace’s life in Thurrock have been produced. The displays toured a number of local venues.

Three short videos about Wallace are available to view here

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