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Photo of Edward J. Larson, Ph.D.

Edward J. Larson, Ph.D.
University Professor and Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law

Office: School of Law (SOL)

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1984
  • J.D., Harvard University, 1979
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1976
  • B.A., Williams College, 1974

SSRN Author Page

The author of nine books and nearly one hundred published articles, Edward Larson teaches, lectures, and writes about issues of law, politics, science, and medicine from an historical perspective. His books include A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign (2008), Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2004), Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South (1995), Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution (1985, 1989, and 2002 expanded editions), the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997), and The Return of George Washington: 1783-1984 (2014). His book, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science (2011) was a finalist for the 2012 Hessell-Tiltman Prize in History and received the Georgia Writers Award in History. Larson's articles have appeared in such varied journals as American History, Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Isis, The Nation, Wall Street Journal, Wilson Quarterly, The Georgia Review, Constitutional Commentary, and over a dozen different law reviews. He is the co-author or co-editor of six additional books, including The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison (2005).


Key Awards/Affiliations
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, John Adams Chair
  • 2003-04, Participant, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, National Science Foundation,
  • 2003 American Spirit Award, Conference on Southern Literature,
  • 2001 Christ-Janer Award for Outstanding Research in the Humanities, Univ. of GA,
  • 2000-01 John Adams Chair of American History, Fulbright Program, University of Leiden, The Netherlands,
  • 2000 George Sarton Lecture, American Association for Advancement of Science,
  • 1999 National Civil Liberties Award, American Civil Liberties Union,
  • 1998 Pulitzer Prize for History,
  • 1998 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award Finalist,
  • 1998 Washington State Governor's Writers Award,
  • 1998 Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Certificate of Recognition,
  • 1997 Templeton Prize for Outstanding Article in Science and Religion,
  • Resident Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center, Italy, 1996,
  • Richard B. Russell Award for Undergraduate Teaching, University of Georgia, 1992,
  • Parks-Heggoy Award for Excellence in Teaching History, University of Georgia, 1989,
  • University Fellow, University of Wisconsin, 1983-84,
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa, Williams College, 1974,


All | Books | Book Chapters | Articles | Forthcoming | Popular Press

Book Chapters

  • Edward J. Larson, Biology and the Emergence of the Eugenics Movement, in BIOLOGY AND IDEOLOGY FROM DESCARTES TO DAWKINS (D. Alexander & R. Numbers eds., Chicago Univ. Press 2010) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Myth 20: That the Scopes Trial Ended in Defeat for Antievolutionism, in GALILEO GOES TO JAIL AND OTHER MYTHS ABOUT SCIENCE AND RELIGION (R. Numbers ed., Harvard Univ. Press 2009) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Introduction; Author's Biography, in CHARLES DARWIN, ORIGIN OF SPECIES (Modern Library 2009) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Slavery in the Election of 1800, in RACE AND SCIENCE (P. Farber & H. Cravens eds., OSU Press 2009) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Science and Religion in Historical Perspective: Response, in RECENT THEMES IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION (D. Yerxa ed., USC Press 2009) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Post Modern Developments in the Debate, in DARWIN AND THE BIBLE: THE CULTURAL CONFRONTATION (R. Robbins and M. Cohen eds., Penguin 2008) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Battle Between Creation and Evolution in the Classroom, in DARWIN AND THE BIBLE: THE CULTURAL CONFRONTATION (R. Robbins and M. Cohen eds., Penguin 2008) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Classroom Controversy: A History of the Dispute over Teaching Evolution, in THE PANDA'S BLACK BOX: OPENING UP THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN CONTROVERSY (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2007) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Relations of Science and Religion, in DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN HISTORY (Stanley I. Kutler ed., Scribner's, 3d ed. 2003) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Scopes Trial in History and Legend, in WHEN SCIENCE AND CHRISTIANITY MEET (David C. Lindberg & Ronald L. Numbers eds., Univ. of Chicago Press 2003) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Scopes Trial, in SCIENCE AND RELIGION: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION (Gary B. Ferngren ed., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2002) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Clarence Darrow, in OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Kermit L. Hall ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2002) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Scopes Trial, in OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN HISTORY (Paul S. Boyer ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2001) .
  • Edward J. Larson, The Cultural Wars at 75, in SELECTED ORATIONS OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (R. M. Cornelius ed., Bryan College 2000) . WorldCat

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