Where did you come from? Christianity and Evolution, and the PM’s Science Prizes

Media bulletins

Simon Conway Morris, accomplished British palaeontologist, presenter and committed Christian, is in Australia discussing evolution. His take is “Darwin was right. Up to a point.”

Conway Morris argues evolution isn’t random but that something like us is an inevitable result. He’s is visiting Melbourne, Geelong, Hobart and Sydney and is available for interview.

Are you pining for the savannah, is Viking blood coursing through your veins? Discover your deep ancestry and contribute to research into the human journey.

The Evolution Festival and National Geographic are inviting 100 Victorians and the media the chance to participate in the Genographic Project for free.  More details below.

And the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are approaching. The prizes will be presented on 28 October at Parliament House. We’re starting to brief long-leadtime publications. So please contact me if you need embargoed information on the prizes.

There’s more information on each below:

Simon Conway Morris: Christian and Evolutionist

Would you like to know where you came from?

PM’s Prizes for Science: winners released on embargo to long lead publications

Simon Conway Morris: Christian and Evolutionist

Evolution shows an eerie predictability, according to Professor Simon Conway Morris. In a series of lectures, he will argue that evolution is not as uncertain as it might seem.

Simon Conway Morris, a professor in Cambridge University’s department of earth sciences, is an accomplished scientist, a committed Christian and a gifted communicator. First applauded for his work on the fossils of the Burgess shale, he continues to research early life on Earth. He has made significant contributions to discussions on the philosophical implications of evolution and actively debates the relationship between religion and science.

His book “Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe” made a considerable impact as it disputes a number of widely-held beliefs about evolution. He suggests that the idea of evolution as an open-ended, random process is flawed and argues that humans are the inevitable result of convergent evolutionary processes.

Simon Conway Morris will be giving the keynote lecture on Evolution: The Royal Road to Consciousness at the ISCAST (Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology) conference COSAC 2009 which will be held at the Geelong Conference Centre from 18-20 September. “Christianity and the Origin of Species” is the theme for the conference.

He will also be giving a series of public lectures, supported in part by Evolution – the Festival, a program of public events being held throughout Australia during 2009. In his lecture Darwin’s Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation, Simon Conway Morris will argue that evolution, apparently driven by random mutations and adaptations, is not as uncertain as it might seem. Constrained by a limited number of possible outcomes it is, in fact, predictable like any other science.

  • Tasmania Wednesday 16 September 2009 at 7.30pm at the Stanley Burbury Theatre at the University of Tasmania.
  • Victoria: Thursday 17 September 2009 at 8.00pm at the Glen Waverley Anglican Church, 800 Waverley Road, Glen Waverley
  • NSW Monday 21 September 2009 at 7.30 pm at the Wesley Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney

Simon Conway is a guest of ISCAST.

The media release is at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/evolution/conway-morris and you can read more about ISCAST at http://www.iscast.org/

For more information about public events that celebrate evolution and Darwin visit the website: www.evolutionaustralia.org.au

Would you like to know where you came from?: Genographic event in Melbourne

Participate in National Geographic’s Genographic program just by providing a cheek swab.

It won’t tell you about your immediate ancestors. But it will tell you about your deep ancestry. And it will help National Geographic’s researchers to plot the movement of the human race around the world.

Over 300,000 people world-wide have already participated – mostly buying the $100 US kit. In Melbourne we’re offering 100 free kits at a public event at the University of Melbourne on Sunday 4 October.

Read the full press release here:  http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/evolution/genographic

If you’re in Melbourne and would like to give a sample we have a number of kits available for journalists.

If you’re on radio, Phil Batterham from the University of Melbourne could come in and take a sample live on air and stay for a chat. And you’re in print, drop by and see Phil at Melbourne University’s Bio 21 Institute, 30 Flemington Road, Parkville. Phil’s contact details are as follows:

Prof. Phil Batterham
Evolution, The Festival, Melbourne University
03 8344 2363
0418 598 562

We’ve can also put you in touch with Professor Alan Cooper from University of Adelaide. He’s one of the Australian leaders of the research.

PM’s Prizes for Science: winners released on embargo to long lead publications

The presentation of the 2009 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will be made on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 in Canberra.  2009 is the events 10th anniversary.

We’re almost in a position to brief long-lead publications on embargo. So please let me know if you’ll require that information early. I’m on 0417 131 977 or niall@scienceinpublic.com.au