1. NAI Public Lecture (and the New York Times) Kick Off 2009 Celebration of Darwin

    Yesterday, the NAI sponsored the first talk in a new lecture series hosted by NASA Ames Research Center. The series is designed to celebrate several important scientific anniversaries in 2009: Darwin’s 200th birthday, the 150th anniversary of his landmark publication On the Origin of Species, the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, the 70th anniversary of NASA Ames Research Center, and the 25th anniversary of the SETI Institute.

    Last night’s talk featured James Strick, an historian of science from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Although the subject of Darwin’s famous book is the origin of species, Dr. Strick spoke about Darwin’s perspective on the origin of life, as documented in both his scientific publications and personal correspondences, and as influenced by the socio-political climate in which he lived and worked.

    The New York Times is joining in the celebration, producing and collating articles on all things Darwin, from op-ed pieces suggesting the word “Darwinism” be retired, to a video of “Darwin in Song,” to an interactive feature in which prominent evolutionary biologists share and comment on their favorite passages from On the Origin of Species.