Eighty-five years ago, young teacher was tried for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. Religion was pitted against science as the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, was transformed by the “Monkey Trial.” Having studied and written prolifically on this period in history, Larson published Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion in 1997. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1998 for the work.
The author of seven books and over one hundred published articles, Larson writes about issues of science, medicine, and law from an historical perspective. His books include A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (2007); Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2005, 2006 rev. ed.); Evolution's Workshop: God and Science in the Galapagos Islands (2001); Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South (1995); Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution (1985, 2003 rev. ed.); and the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997). His next book, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science, is due out in 2011.
Larson's articles have appeared in such varied journals as Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Time, Isis, Science, Scientific American, The Nation, The Wilson Quarterly, American History, Virginia Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, and The Georgia Quarterly. He is the co-author or co-editor of eight additional books, including The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison (2005) and The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow (2007).
Larson teaches, writes, and speaks on history, law, science, and bio-ethics for academic, professional, and public audiences. The Fulbright Program named him to the John Adams Chair in American Studies for 2001. He participated in the National Science Foundation's 2003 Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Larson serves on the National Institute of Health's study section on ethical, legal, and social issues related to the Human Genome Project and is a Senior Fellow of University of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education.