Introducing the 12 days of Darwin, this year sees both the 200 anniversary of Darwin’s birth (12 Feb) and the 150 year anniversary of his publication of ‘On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection’ (24 Nov). As such I thought it was worth devoting a series of daily posts centered around evolution in the days leading up to Darwin Day. These posts will constitute everything you never wanted to know about evolution and more. From the origin of life to fossils, molecular genetics to the Cambrian “explosion” I will be covering as many different aspects as I can. The plan is for a post a day up until the 12th so we’ll see how that goes, my penchant for procrastination may get the better of me.
Darwin Day celebrates the birthday of Charles Darwin and has become a starting point for educating the public about evolution and initiating a dialogue with the community. Since Darwin death in 1882 celebrations of his contribution to science have been sporadic, only in the later part of the 20th century has there been an effort to organize and start ongoing traditions. This is probably a response to a perceived increase in public pressure against evolution education, especially in the United States.
To start out the 12 days of Darwin here is a summary of the events happening in New Zealand and Australia so you can get a feel for what’s going on.
Events in New Zealand:
The Charles Darwin Theater Project
Starting at the Te Papa museum in Wellington before going on tour this consists of a play about Darwin and will run along side public debates and lectures organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Darwin’s 200th Birthday Symposium
The University of Auckland’s Bioinformatics Institute and the School of Biological Sciences will hold a free one-day symposium that brings together leading national and international thinkers who will speak of the impact of Darwin on their research in biology, medicine, history and literature. This event has been designed to appeal to a general audience.
Allan Wilson Centre Lecture Series
Every two years the AWC hosts a series of three lectures focusing on a theme of interest. In recogntion of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of his publication “On the Origin of Species” the theme for the 2009 series is “Human Evolution”.
Events in Australia:
Evolution – The Picnic
Celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin with a picnic at the Mornington Park. Event put on by a Philosophy Cafe and Skeptics Group, known as the Free Range Brains.
a Philosophy Cafe and Skeptics Group, known as the Free Range Brains. http://www.darwinday.org/events/listing.php?id=12492
Evolution: the Experience
International Conference exploring the depth and breadth of Darwin’s impact on science and society.
Evolution: the Experience International Conference exploring the depth and breadth of Darwin’s impact on science and society. http://www.darwinday.org/events/listing.php?id=12527
Darwin Day Barbecue
Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday at the Yarra bank BBQ near the Morell Bridge.
Charles Darwin Dinner
A special dinner at Gardners Inn in Blackheath NSW Australia to celebrate the time in 1836 that Charles Darwin stayed at Andrew Gardners Inn in the Blue Mountains.
Darwin Day: Art, Beauty, and Evolution
A public tribute and lecture by Professor Denis Dutton, founder and editor of acclaimed website Arts & Letters Daily.
Darwin Day Celebration
Film night to watch Randy Olson’s film wonderful docudrama ‘Flock of Dodos – the evolution – intelligent design circus’.
See http://www.darwinday.org/events/listing.php for full up-to-date listings.