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Denise PhillipsThe McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will host a lecture on natural history as a popular science on Tuesday, November 25.

Denise Phillips, an assistant professor in history, will present the 5:30 p.m. talk, “The Most Popular of Sciences: Natural History through the Centuries.” She specializes in the history of Germany and the history of science.

The lecture was originally slated for November 6 and has been rescheduled for November 25. It is given in honor of the temporary exhibit Birds, Bugs and Blooms: Natural History Illustration from the 1500s–1800s. It will consider the growing popularity of natural history during these centuries, and will examine some of the legacies of natural history’s long period of cultural prominence.

In today’s world of contemporary science, natural history is generally seen as an old-fashioned pursuit of modest intellectual stature. Between 1500 and 1900, however, it was the most fashionable and widely admired branch of the sciences. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, natural history had a strong following among Renaissance nobles, rulers and wealthy merchants. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it held a prominent place in the drawing rooms of Europe’s middle classes.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Free parking is available in front of the museum on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Additional parking information is available online.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit the website.


Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,