Royal Commission on Subjecting Live Animals to Experiments

Darwin gave his verbal evidence to the Royal Commission on the afternoon of November 3, 1875, Viscount Cardwell, the Chairman, coming to the door to receive him. He states that he had not personally carried out any physiological experiments, but had been a signatory to a memorandum sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Emma Darwin, in a letter to her son Leonard, written on that day, describes his evidence as 'a sort of confession of faith about the claims of physiology and the duty of humanity'.

His verbal evidence is contained verbatim in the main blue book and briefly in the digest. The report itself was reprinted in 1906, but without the evidence.

Darwin. 1876. [Evidence given to the Commission]. Report of the Royal Commission on the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, pp. 233-4. Text Image Text & Image PDF F1275

Darwin, C. R. 1876. Digest of evidence taken before the Royal Commission on the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes: with an alphabetical list of witnesses. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office [Darwin's evidence on p. 34]. Image F1276

 

From: Freeman, R. B. 1977. The Works of Charles Darwin: An Annotated Bibliographical Handlist. 2nd edn. Dawson: Folkstone.

NOTE: With thanks to The Charles Darwin Trust and Dr Mary Whitear for use of the Bibliographical Handlist. Copyright. All rights reserved. For private academic use only. Not for republication or reproduction in whole or in part without the prior written consent of The Charles Darwin Trust, 14 Canonbury Park South London N1 2JJ.

Corrections and additions copyright The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online - National University of Singapore.

 

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