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Scholar Focuses on Social Darwinism, Philanthropy, Pittsburgh's Gilded Age

Dr. Paul Krause, professor of history at the University of British Columbia, will address Social Darwinism and Philanthropy in Pittsburgh’s Gilded Ages: The Untold History of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer and Two of the “Richest Men in the World” as part of Duquesne University’s speaker series Darwin at 200: Contributions and Challenges.

This year marks the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his work, The Origin of Species. In recognition of that, Duquesne is hosting the speaker series as part of Darwin Celebration 2009: A Pittsburgh Partnership, a series of events designed to improve public understanding of Darwin’s legacy and his ideas that form the fundamental basis for all modern biology and medicine.

According to Krause, his address will explore the hidden connections between American philanthropy, the practice of which was codified by Pittsburgher Andrew Carnegie, and the ruthless business methods Carnegie mastered and which, over the course of a century, have constituted no less important a bequest than his Gospel of Wealth. “In seeking to legitimize his path-breaking commercial ventures, Carnegie publicly wrapped himself in the banner of biological science and its philosophical offshoot, but his understanding of both Darwin and Spencer was flawed and self-serving,” Krause explained.

Krause is author of The Battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics, Culture and Steel, about the pivotal battle between organized labor and steel magnate Carnegie.

Co-sponsored by the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne, the lecture is free and open to the public. Act 48 credit for K-12 teachers is available.

When: Friday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m.

Where: Duquesne Union Ballroom, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave.

Information: For more information on the Darwin at 200 speaker series and Darwin Celebration 2009, call 412.396.6332 or visit www.duq.edu/darwin2009.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.