One To Watch: Charles Darwin

A two-week homage to “Origins” at Florida State University, highlights Charles DarwinOne to Watch » Charles Darwin and Origins ’09

Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday is this year, and while there probably won’t be “over the hill” balloons, Florida State University’s Office of Research is hosting a two-week celebration March 16-28. The series, titled “Origins ’09: A Celebration of the Life & Birth of Beginnings,” also marks the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s seminal work “On the Origin of Species” and commemorates 2009, which has been declared “The Year of Science.”

FSU’s tribute will reach well beyond the extraordinary legacy of Darwin. Nine acclaimed scholars from across the country—including Harvard’s E.O. Wilson, regarded by many as the world’s leading naturalist—will speak on a wide variety of topics, ranging from “The Origins of Modern Florida” to “The Origins of the Universe.” And while the thought of science lectures may sound intimidating, “Origins” is meant to be anything but arcane.

“The program is designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible,” assures event director Frank Stephenson.

Rather than focusing solely on biological evolution, the program is meant to inspect many types of origins and evolutions, including the basis of conflict between science and religion and the development of creationist beliefs in America. “Origins” will feature a science and arts fair designed for people of all ages and interest levels, a night of film, and a musical tribute to “The Origins of Jazz.” A highlight of the schedule will be a live broadcast of National Public Radio’s “Science Friday,” featuring host Ira Flatow, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

Free admission to most events makes “Origins ’09” a natural selection for all. For specific times and venues, visit  – Jennifer Ewing

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