This month we report on the very popular Journey of your Genes—over 500 Melburnians took the opportunity to trace their deep ancestry last Sunday. The results will be revealed on Sunday 6 December.
This month Darwin is celebrated with talks at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria, conversation at the State Library of Victoria and a symposium on evolutionary biology in Perth. And the successful Supercrocodilians exhibition in Darwin has been extended until 2011, giving even those who don’t live in the Northern Territory a chance to visit.
We also put you in touch with evolution in a variety of formats: rap and folk songs, blogs and Facebook as well as downloadable audio from one of the symposia on earlier this year.
There are more events planned and we’re also keen to promote all celebrations of Darwin and evolution in Australia over the rest of the year.
More info on the website www.evolutionaustralia.org.au. Please feel free to pass on this information to friends and colleagues.
And please let us know if there are events that we haven’t mentioned. The best way to do that is to register them at www.evolutionaustralia.org.au so we can include you in future bulletins and promotions.
And finally please also include us in your media lists. We will be telling journalists about newsworthy Darwinian activities.
for Phil Batterham and the Evolution Festival
In this bulletin:
The Journey of Humanity—from African origins to life in a warming world
Over 1,000 Melburnians queue to trace their deep ancestry—to be revealed on 6 December
Sunday 4 October brought a long queue of people to Melbourne’s Bi021 Institute. The first 100 people received a free cheek swab worth $135 from The Genographic Project—a partnership of National Geographic and IBM with field support by the Waitt Family Foundation.
They will be able to trace their deep migratory history dating back 60,000 years when the results are revealed on Sunday 6 December. Another 400 people also participated, buying kits on the day and online.
Melbourne identities also participated including Tim Costello, Neil Mitchell, indigenous former AFL player Cory McGrath, Neil Mitchell, Heather Ewatt, and journalists from print, TV and radio.
What it all means will be revealed in ‘The Journey of Humanity’ on Sunday 6 December as archaeologists, geneticists and historians discuss the results and consider the impact that global climate change and advances in genetics may have on humans. Cheek swabbing participants and others are invited to learn the story of our genes.
More information from http://humanjourneys.com.au/index.php?page=journey-of-humanity-one-day.
Premiere of ‘The Human Family Tree’ documentary
To whet your appetite for the Journey of Humanity (above), you can see the documentary ‘The Human Family Tree’ which tells the story of the ancestors of a few hundred people from Queens, New York. It’s showing on the National Geographic channel at 8.30pm on Sunday 11 October.
Evolution events in October and November
Book launch: A Natural Calling by Tony Larkum
Sydney, 9 October
Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, 4.30–7pm
Come to the launch of A Natural Calling: Life, Letters and Diaries of Charles Darwin and William Darwin Fox by Tony Larkum, from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney.
The book provides new factual material on Charles Darwin, following many years of research into Darwin’s relationship to his cousin William Darwin Fox. It is a biographical and historical account of the letters exchanged by these two men and the diaries of William Darwin Fox have never been accessed before.
The free launch will be followed by readings of some of the letters in the book by professional actors, over drinks and nibbles. RSVP is essential for catering purposes. Contact Carla Avolio (02) 9351 4543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darwin’s Great Idea: how evolution rewrote our world
Sydney, Sunday seminars in October and November
Art Gallery of New South Wales, 10.30am—1pm
The Art Gallery of NSW presents a series of lectures exploring Charles Darwin—the man, his theories, his influence and his legacy. Each session will include readings from the works of Darwin and others by distinguished Australian actor John Derum.
- Nietzsche and Darwin by Robert Spillane and Cézanne, Zola, Marion: Darwinism Down South by Virginia Spate, Sunday 11 October [Sold out]
- The Gothic of Nature: William Butterfield and All Saints,’ Margaret Street, London by Jonathan Mane Wheoki and Genesis to Genetics by Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Sunday 25 October
- Charles Darwin: Told By His Great Great Grandson by Chris Darwin and The Idea of Environmental Adaptation in Architecture by Michael Hill, Sunday 15 November [Sold out]
- Brancusi, Metaphor and Metamorphosis by Terence Maloon and Intelligent Design: How Intelligent? by Jamie Leonarder, Sunday 29 November
More info and to book online: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/events/cal/darwin or (02) 9225 1878
Lecture Series: The Darwin Anniversary
Melbourne, Wednesday lectures in October and November
National Gallery of Victoria International, 2pm
NGV International celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species with a series of lectures on his life and the way animals are expressed in art.
- The Life & Work of Charles Darwin by Jeanette Hoorn, Curator, Charles Darwin Exhibition, The University of Melbourne, Wednesday 14 October
- Animals in Asian Art by Carol Cains, Curator, Asian Art, NGV, Wednesday 28 October
- Animals on Continental Porcelain by Dr Matthew Martin, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts, NGV, Wednesday 11 November
- Charles Darwin and the Australian Connection by Humphrey Clegg, Assistant Curator, Australian Art, NGV, Wednesday 25 November
Symposium on Evolutionary Biology
Perth, 17 October
This one day symposium on a wide range of evolutionary topics from classic palaeontology to modern concepts in evolution, including: evolutionary microbiology, neoLamarckism, transposable elements as facilitators of evolution, to exploration of the predecessors and contemporaries of Darwin, is organised by the Royal Society of Western Australia.
Darwin and Darwinisms: Origins and Evolution
Melbourne, Thursday 5 November 6–7pm
Experimedia, State Library of Victoria (Free)
What can we learn from evolution? Join in a fascinating conversation about Charles Darwin’s work, and examine items from the Library’s collections that reflect the influence of his revolutionary findings.
Super Human—Revolution of the Species Symposium
Melbourne, 23–24 November
The Super Human symposium will present a mix of keynote speakers and collaborative research projects engaging with one or more of the symposium themes: Augmentation, Cognition and Nanoscale Interventions.
Questions that the symposium will address include, but are not limited to:
- How do scientific and artistic bodies of knowledge intersect with human, social bodies?
- Does art serve simply as a representational tool for the sciences or is there more to the picture than that?
- Does research into bodies and their systems offer an insight into aesthetics, or is it confined to the purely functional?
Early bird registration has been extended to 9 October. More info: http://www.superhuman.org.au/
The Rap Guide to Evolution
Thanks to one of our readers, Daniel Falster, for alerting us to the Rap Guide to Evolution. Written and performed by Canadian literary hip hop artist Baba Brinkman for this year’s celebrations of Darwin and evolution, it has featured at the Charles Darwin festival in Cambridge and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won the Scotsman Fringe First Award for innovation and outstanding new writing.
Download it from Baba’s webpage: http://www.babasword.com/index/rge.html and read the review in Science: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/origins/2009/02/rapping-with-darwin-and-dawkin.html.
The Rough Guide to Evolution and the Darwin Song Project
To keep up with all things evolutionary, you might like to check out Mark Pallen’s blog, or his Facebook page, based loosely on his recent book, The Rough Guide to Evolution. Mark is professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of Birmingham, UK.
In a recent blog, Mark recommended a new album of folk songs, The Darwin Song Project, released by eight singer-songwriters from the UK and US, and first performed in Darwin’s home town of Shrewsbury in March 2009. Search for Darwin Song Project on YouTube and you can also buy the CD at the project website.
Darwin Symposium audio available
If you were not able to attend the Darwin Symposium held at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in February this year, you can now download audio files of the talks:
- A lunatic idea: British science and evolution on the eve of Darwin’s Origin of Species by Iain McCalman
- Charles Darwin: His character and convictions by Tom Frame
- Darwin’s experiences in Australia by Frank Nicholas
- On the Origin of Species, its reception and the construal of human evolutionary history by Paul Turnbull
- Social reactions to Darwin by Barry Butcher
- Darwin and social Darwinism: the political use and abuse of natural selection by Tony Barta
- Human evolution: fossils surprising, fossils predicted by Colin Groves
- Evolution and creationism by Neil Ormerod
- Evolutionary change in agriculture—the past, present and future by Jeremy Burdon
- Reframing Darwin: evolution and art in Australia is at the Ian Potter Gallery, University of Melbourne, 12 August—1 November 2009. A major exhibition of more than 120 items dedicated to exploring the lasting legacy of Charles Darwin in art, science and culture in Australia For more information: http://www.art-museum.unimelb.edu.au/art_exhibitions_detail.aspx?view=149&category=current
- Darwin’s Descendants: 200 years of scientific adventures is at the Red Box Gallery, National Herbarium of NSW, Sydney, 3 August—24 November 2009. An exhibition showcasing the ongoing achievements of some of Darwin’s intellectual descendants—the Botanic Gardens Trust scientists. For more information: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/darwin
- Darwin to DNA at the Melbourne Museum explores the discovery of evolution by Darwin and his contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace including specimens they collected. It then takes you further into the genetic mechanisms of DNA, and how we can use DNA to examine questions about evolution. Until 23 May 2010.
- Darwin himself was wary of the impact he knew his theory of evolution would have. The events and influences shaping Darwin are explored in Charles Darwin: the reluctant revolutionary at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, until 31 December.
- Crocodiles and their kind are an evolutionary success story—they have been around for the past 200 million years. See one of the largest crocodilians that ever existed in Supercrocodilians—Darwin’s ultimate survival story at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, extended until 2011.
Find more exhibitions in your area in September at our website.
Darwin biopic Creation—now has a US release
To update our news from the last bulletin: Creation, starring Paul Bettany as Darwin, has now secured a US release.
Here’s the trailer: http://creationthemovie.com/trailer/
And don’t forget this item from previous bulletins
New Darwin website companion to upcoming Darwin TV series
Screen Australia Digital Learning have recently completed a website in conjunction with the Australian National Maritime Museum and University of Sydney historian Iain McCalman (author of Darwin’s Armada: How four voyagers to Australasia won the battle for evolution and changed the world).
The site is Charles Darwin—the Australian Connection and can be found here: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/learning/charlesdarwin/
It allows users to follow the voyage, explore learning activities or access additional information. Among other things it addresses:
- how Darwin confirmed his theory about coral reefs formation
- how Darwin developed his ideas about the evolution of life
- how longitude measurement helped safe navigation
- how Captain FitzRoy learnt about air pressure and weather.
The site is also the companion to a 3 x 1 hour drama-documentary TV series about how the Southern Hemisphere gave birth to the most controversial idea in science: evolution by means of natural selection. The series is an Australian and Canadian Co-Production and will be broadcast on the ABC coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species.’
Read more on these and other events at http://evolutionaustralia.org.au
The Festival team acknowledge the support of our major sponsors, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the State Government of Victoria and the University of Melbourne. We are also supported by Museum Victoria, New Scientist, the City of Melbourne and Cosmos.