Author Archives: Alison Bashford

About Alison Bashford

Alison Bashford is Laureate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Previously she was Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge. Her most recent book is The New Worlds of Thomas Robert Malthus (Princeton University Press, 2016), co-authored with Joyce E. Chaplin. Bashford is currently completing An Intimate History of Evolution: From Genesis to Genetics, a book that explores human and natural sciences through the Huxley dynasty. She was awarded the Dan David Prize (2021).

The Family of Man: Cosmopolitanism and the Huxleys, 1850–1950

Abstract: This essay considers the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley and his twentieth-century grandson Julian Huxley as cosmopolitans. Perhaps their foundational shared question was how to comprehend human unity and human difference, both biologically and politically; how to comprehend humans as one. Both Huxleys insisted on the singularity of the human species, but as evolutionary theorists insisted also on individual biological variation and distinction. For this reason, they offer the opportunity to consider the history of cosmopolitanism alongside the intellectual history of thought on species, and Continue reading → Continue reading →