July 21 at 6 p.m.

Adult & Continuing Education Programs hosts a special summer “Golden Hour” talk at the Arboretum on Friday, July 21, at 6 p.m. with biologist and best-selling author James T. Costa. His latest book, Radical by Nature, is an epic account of the life of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 – 1913), one of the most famed naturalists of the Victorian age. Wallace’s expeditions to remote Amazonia and southeast Asia were the stuff of legend. Collecting thousands of species new to science, the self-taught Wallace shared in the discovery of natural selection and founded the discipline of evolutionary biogeography, making him, along with Charles Darwin, one of Britain’s leading scientific minds and one of its most controversial public figures.

With painstaking research through Wallace’s letters, notebooks and journals, Costa paints a revelatory portrait of a revolutionary thinker driven by a singular passion for science, a commitment to social justice, and a lifelong sense of wonder. Register for this free/by donation talk through the link below. Copies of Radical by Nature will be available for purchase that evening through Malaprop’s Bookstore for the author to sign. Participants can stay after to enjoy ArborEvenings in the garden!


James T. Costa is a professor of biology and executive director of Western Carolina University’s Highlands Biological Station. His previous books include Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory; Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species; and The Annotated Origin. He is the recipient of the Alfred Russel Wallace Medal of the Wallace Memorial Fund and the 2023 Stephen Jay Gould Prize of the Society for the Study of Evolution.