Darwin: a revolutionary scientist
This year marks the bicentenary of revolutionary scientist Charles Darwin’s birth, and celebrations will begin in Wales at National Museum Cardiff.
Darwin: a revolutionary scientist explores the remarkable life, voyages and discoveries of the ‘father of biology’.
Officially launching on 12 February 2009, this joint initiative with the Open University in Wales will present Darwin in Wales.
Darwin: a revolutionary scientist covers a range of information, from his contemporaries and the animal or plant species he would have encountered during his journey around the world, to modern-day developments such as DNA and inheritance through genes, which support Darwin’s theory.
There will be a full range of activities, learning events and lectures at the Museum during 2009, as part of the Darwin anniversary year.
The exhibition aims to share information with visitors about the theory of evolution, and will also take Darwin online. Evolution MegaLab, set up by the Open University, will offer an interactive element from April 2009.
Using the common Banded Snail as an example, visitors of all ages, from school children to grandparents, will have the opportunity to see evolution at work in the natural world around them.
The aim is to demonstrate that evolution is not some remote theoretical idea, but an everyday occurrence that you can witness for yourself.
Darwin in Wales
Darwin’s interest in natural science was stimulated by events beyond his formal education, including his many hikes in north Wales.
It was a letter from a young Welsh scientist called Alfred Russel Wallace that prompted the revolutionary publication of On the Origins of Species, which reveals Darwin’s theory on evolution.
Darwin: a revolutionary scientist will delve deeper into how he reached his conclusion, with emphasis on his time in Wales, where he first became familiar with the foundations of geology.
He returned to Wales with Professor Adam Sedgwick, one of the most renowned geologists of the time. They undertook a geological tour of north Wales in summer 1831, and the knowledge he gained from the professor proved to be invaluable during his voyage around the world on the Beagle.
To find out more about studying Darwin or to get a feel for Open University study visit www.openuniversity.co.uk/darwin.