Public Evolution Events

NESCent sponsors many public events to celebrate Darwin's life and work, and to share evolutionary biology with the public. Special celebrations are planned for 2009 - the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species." In addition to the annual Darwin Day Symposium, in 2009 a workshop for teachers will be offered prior to the symposium. NESCent is also co-sponsoring a "Year of Darwin" speakers series and theatre production. Information about upcoming and past events may be found on this page.

Darwin Day 2009: Darwin's Legacy: Evolutionary Approaches to World Challenges
February 21, 2009
9:30 am - 4:00 pm

We invite you to join us in celebrating Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species at our annual Darwin Day Symposium. This year the symposium will focus on the societal benefits of evolutionary biology research. Learn how evolutionary biologists are improving staple crops, developing better methods to control infectious disease, constructing better conservation plans and employing evolutionary principles to engineer more efficient products.

Darwin Day 2008: Origins and Evolution of Early Life

In honor of Darwin’s birthday, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center hosted a symposium that took us back to the beginning. This interdisciplinary event brought together researchers in philosophy, chemistry, biology and astrobiology to address our current understanding of basic questions about life. What is life? Where did it come from and where can it be found? How can life forms unlike our own be identified?

Using what we know about metabolism of extremophiles, self-assembling chemical systems, bizarre genetic systems, and analytical tools such as phylogenetics and geochemistry, these scientists are building a more complete picture of how early life arose on Earth. This information is being used in to inform searches for extraterrestrial life and help us refine our understanding of the fundamental definition of “life."


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