THE centenary of pioneering biologist Alfred Russel Wallace’s death will be marked with a series of events in Poole.

Wallace, who is credited with independently co-discovering the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, lived in Broadstone for 11 years until his death in 1913.

It may have been Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking Origin of Species that changed the way biologists, and ultimately wider society, viewed the human race’s place in the natural world.

But Wallace’s paper, written after years of exploration in the Malaysian Archipelago and the Amazon, is also recognised as a seminal work in evolutionary science.

Wallace never attracted the same interest as Darwin. Indeed, it was not until 1908 that he gained full recognition for his contribution to the theory, when he was presented with the Linnean Society’s gold medal.

As part of events marking his achievements, Borough of Poole’s Museum Service, arts service and library service have planned a number of activities highlighting Wallace’s connection to the town.

Poole Mayor Phil Eades said: “I’m pleased to be able to celebrate the local connection to this fantastic explorer to Poole and look forward to officially opening an exhibition at Broadstone Library.”

This exhibition, focusing on the life of Wallace, will be opened at 10am on November 7, the anniversary of his death.

Cllr Judy Butt, Borough of Poole public engagement and participation portfolio holder, said: “It is incredible to think that such a well known and intrepid explorer spent his final years in Poole and I am thrilled that we are able to celebrate his life with so many fantastic events.

“I look forward to visiting the exhibition at Broadstone Library.”

What’s on
Events set to mark the centenary of Wallace’s death include:

  • POOLE History Centre: November 2, at 2.30pm. ‘Wallace & the Flat Earth Controversy’, a talk by Dr Christine Garwood, University of Hertfordshire.
  • BROADSTONE Library: November 7, at 10am, opening of the ‘Wallace 100’ exhibition and unveiling of artist Caroline Parrott’s work ‘The Wallace Effect’ & a performance by Broadstone First School Year 3 Group.
  •  POOLE History Centre: November 9, at 3pm, performance of play ‘You Should Ask Wallace’, by Theatr na nOg.
  • St John's Church, Broadstone, You Should Ask Wallace by Theatr na nOg. 11:30am on Saturday November 9.