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Darwin Day commemorates biologist’s birthday, showcases scientific research

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  • February 03, 2017

Charles Darwin IllustrationUAB will host several events this month to commemorate the 208th anniversary of the birth of legendary evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin and celebrate scientific research in evolutionary biology and other disciplines.

UAB’s Department of Biology will screen a movie, hold a panel discussion and an art exhibition, host a national science media personality and have a poster session for students during its annual Darwin Day celebrations Feb. 9-10.

“Charles Darwin’s great discovery, the principle of natural selection, is more relevant to science than ever before,” said department Chair Steven Austad, Ph.D. “For instance, it underlies our increasing success in cancer chemotherapy, provides guidance in combating new strains of drug-resistant diseases and will ultimately determine how catastrophic climate change will prove to be for our planet.”

The guest speaker is Joe Palca, NPR science correspondent and host of “Joe’s Big Ideas” Palca’s free public lecture, “Science and News: A Marriage of Convenience,” will begin 7 p.m. Friday in the UAB Alumni House. A reception and poster session  will follow.

Several other events are scheduled:
  • Screening of Godzilla (2014) with a panel discussion, including guest Joe Palca, 8 p.m. Thursday in Hill Student Center Alumni Theater
  • Science Communication Session with Joe Palca 1-3 p.m. Friday in the AEIVA
  • “Several Powers,” an art exhibition open 4-6 p.m. Friday in Project Space (UAB Humanities Building Room 100)

The Department of Anthropology also will host David H. Dye, Ph.D., from the University of Memphis, who will speak on the evolution of peace and war 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13 in Heritage Hall Room 102.

“The approach of Charles Darwin represents the scientific endeavor at its best wherein data and reasoning interact to elucidate the natural world,” said department Chair Doug Fry, Ph.D. “Anthropologists and other students of science today will be well served by striving to emulate Darwin’s objectivity, meticulous attention to detail and appreciation for complexity during the practice of science.”

Additional Info

  • Event Date: February 9