Writing in the Boston Globe’s Sunday Ideas section, I examine the strange and extraordinary history of the iconic “monkey-to-man” evolution illustration—one of the most intriguing and misleading drawings in the modern history of science.

Though the image fails to accurately illustrate Darwinian evolutionary theory, it has been hugely successful as a lightning rod for debate. It represents a society struggling over how to understand—and even whether to accept—evolution, as well as a host of other divisive issues.

Read more in the Boston Globe.


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Jennifer Tucker is a historian who studies the interrelations of art and science, photography, and mass visual culture, with a specialization in 19th to mid-20th century British, U.S., and trans-Pacific history. The common threads in her diverse research fields are the dynamics of visual media in modern history, the nature of evidence, public perceptions and practices of history, and the interrelationships of science, technology, and the law.

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