Adrian Desmond

Published On


Page Range

pp. 337–356


  • English

Print Length

20 pages

17. Halls of Science

  • Adrian Desmond (author)
Saull’s integration into the top echelons of metropolitan Owenism is exemplified, including his trusteeship of the London Co-Operative Building Society. This was a bank providing loans to the branches, enabling them to build their Halls of Science. These countrywide halls, rarely discussed by historians, are examined: their success compared to mechanics’ institutions, their female friendliness, and the opposition they faced. Saull now sank his money into a central hall in London’s John Street, which was to be Owen’s new headquarters, and he made a tour of the Midlands Halls of Science in 1840, lecturing, for the last time, on evolving life’s ‘law of progression’, with its earthly promise of a New Jerusalem. Saull felt the civic opposition personally when he visited his home town of Northampton. Here his pub-owning nephew was blacklisted for leasing his backroom to socialists (including Holyoake), and eventually went bankrupt.


Adrian Desmond


Adrian Desmond was educated at University College London and Harvard University, where he was Stephen Jay Gould's first history of science PhD student. He has two MSc's, one in history of science, another in vertebrate palaeontology, and a PhD for his work on radical Victorian evolutionists. For twenty years he was an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. He is the multi-award-winning author of nine books, which include: The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs, Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875, The Politics of Evolution: Morphology, Medicine, and Reform in Radical London, Darwin, Huxley: The Devil’s Disciple, Huxley: Evolution’s High Priest, Darwin’s Sacred Cause (with James Moore)