The question of whether or not the Victorians ruined the world is one that I suspect many people have asked themselves over the years. Using this question as the title of their radio show, sister double act Helen and Kat Arney migrated to the stage for the Norwich Science Festival.

With the help of special UEA guests, evolutionary biologist Professor David Richardson and historian Emma Griffin, we questioned whether the Victorian ‘invention’ of Darwinism and beards had indeed ruined the world, or added to its splendour. Audience votes came out unanimous in favour of Darwinism being a good thing, but the room was split on beards.


Overall, it was an enjoyable 75 minutes. The comedic chatter between the two sisters was occasionally slightly awkward, though the in-family jokes like ‘mum loves me more’ did land well a few times.

Comedy aside, the talk of history and science was fascinating and very enlightening. The guests were given plenty of time to talk in between the banter, and the sisters were extremely well informed. I shall definitely be giving their radio show a listen.

And who knew that the victorians invented emojis?


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