4 June 2008

The Shrewsbury Scoop

Last night I attended the official launch of Darwin200, a partnership of no fewer than 70 British organisations planning to celebrate a string of base-50 Darwin anniversaries between now and the end of 2009:
1 July 2008 - 150th anniversary of the day papers by Darwin and Wallace summarising, for the first time, their theory of natural selection, were read aloud at the Linnean Society in London

12 February 2009 - bicentenary of Darwin's birth in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

24 November 2009 - 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin's "one long argument" that provided evidence and reasoning, not to mention accessible, inspiring prose, in support of evolution by natural selection
The launch event was held in the newly spiffed central hall of the Natural History Museum and was attended by several hundred delegates from the partner organisations (David Lort-Phillips and Adrian Richardson also present for The Beagle Project) and nearly a hundred journalists including good friend of the Beagle Project Matt Brown, who, like many of us, wears several hat: editor of Nature Network London, contributor to Londonist and, most importantly, ardent admirer of pickled giant squid.

I very much enjoyed the speech by the President of the Royal Society, Lord Martin Rees, an astronomer who was quick to admit that "a star is easier to understand than the smallest insect", and the Darwin-themed poems read by four young poets from the Roundhouse in north London, two of which I've highlighted here before.

Now, with all those journalists there, you might expect to wake up the next morning and see a few write-ups. Strange thing was, my Google news search this morning for "Darwin" and "Natural History Museum" yielded very little. Maybe there was a little too much free champagne imbibed at the event, or maybe folks are planning pieces for their weekend editions. The shining exceptions were The Shropshire Star (hence my title) and the Londonist.

Ooo, and I can't sign off without mentioning the party favours: free copies of the beautifully illustrated hardback Darwin 2009 diary shown at left.

And for everyone who couldn't be there, here's a consolation prize: it's that handy little gadget, the Darwin200 events RSS feed.

Note: thanks to Michael Barton for pointing out the problem with the RSS feed linked above. The link itself is not broken (it worked for me earlier) - rather it's the XML itself that's the problem ...Darwin200's problem I'm afraid.


Michael D. Barton, FCD said...

1. Thanks for sharing!
2. "Feed code error" shows up for the RSS feed.
3. Is that the same diary/journal I showed you?

Karen James said...

1. sure thing!
2. See my update to the post.
3. Yes, but it's got a different cover with the colourised photograph of Darwin on it. I'll take a picture of it this weekend and post it on the blog.