NTU Launches Serial Activities to Commemorate
Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday
The year 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birthday, and also the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's important book on evolution—"The Origin of Species." In addition to the many activities being staged in England, there are also a variety of commemorative activities being carried out in the world.
NTU has mapped out a series of activities to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday. Entitled "The Eternal Darwin—Darwin 200@NTU", these activities include monthly evolution lectures and Darwin lectures, for which domestic and foreign scholars will be invited to explore concepts and issues related to the theory of evolution. In addition, the University will hold theatrical events, bio-art exhibitions, book fairs, etc, to synchronize with the world in commemorating Charles Darwin, the man who has exerted profound influence on the development of human society. Among the highlights are:
"Eternal Darwin" Special Exhibitions and Art/Cultural Activities
- During the Azalea Festival, the College of Life Sciences will launch a series of "Life Science Rite" activities, which include book fair, guided tours, and popular science lectures.
- For the popular science exhibitions, a special exhibition area will be set up on the first floor of the Life Science Hall and in the animal specimens room, where Darwin's biographical data and evidences of the theory of evolution will be put on display.
- Theatrical event: In coordination with the Azalea Festival, from March 13th to 15th the Dongjianti Ensemble will perform a play called "After Darwin," written by a British playwright. By means of a "play within a play" structure, the actors playing Charles Darwin and the young captain Robert Fitzroy of Beagle constantly alternate between their egos and alter egos, and employ multi-layered different viewpoints to pinpoint the violent impact on religion caused by the theory of evolution. In fact, they even take one step further to explore the human issues of race, genetic origin, morals and ethnic identity. For detailed information, please log onto: http://www. wretch.cc/blog/dongjianti.
- In coordination with the NTU Art Festival, various exhibitions will be held, including: "The Eternal Darwin" visual art competition, Bio-art special exhibition, "Evolutionary Theme Exhibition" and Galapagos Island Ecological Photography Exhibition, etc. The exhibition dates are from May 1st to May 15th, and the venues are the Exhibition Room at the basement of the 1st Student Activity Center and the Multi-media Room of the Main Library.
[ Evolution Lectures ]
Venue: Classroom 4B, Life Science Hall
- Date: 3/7 (Sat)
Topic: "The Tail of Darwin
Lecturer: Yu-The Lin, Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University
- Date: 3/9 (Mon)
Topic: Guided reading: " The Selfish Genes" Tutor:
Lecturer: Miss Shu-Miaw Chaw, Biodiversity Center, Academia Sinica
- Date: 4/24 (Fri)
Topic: Guided reading: "The Third Ape: The Evolution and Future of Mankind"
Lecturer: Mr. Daw-Hwan Wang, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica
- Date: 5/1 (Fri)
Topic: "The Botanical World in the Eyes of Darwin"
Lecturer: Shau-Ting Chiu, National Museum of Natural Science
- Date: 5/15 (Fri)
Topic: " Darwin's Pigeons—On Variation"
Lecturer: Shong Huang, National Taiwan Normal University
- Date: 5/22 (Fri)
Topic: Guided reading: " The Darwin Shock: Listen to what Stephen Gould Has to Say"
Lecturer: Suh-Der Tsen, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, National Yang-Ming University
[ Darwin Lectures ]
Venue: Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor, Life Science Building
- Date: 2/27 (Fri)
Topic: "Evolutionary Studies in Modern Biology"
Lecturer: Wen-hsiung Li, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Director of Biodiversity Center, Academic Sinica
- Date: 3/27 (Fri)
Topic: "Angiosperm Evolution—New Ideas and New Issues"
Lecturer: Peter Karl Endress, Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland
- Date: 3/27 (Fri)
Topic: "Genetics of Inviability and Sterility in Drosophila"
Lecturer: Kyoichi Sawamura, Lecturer of Evolutionary Genetics, Tsukuba University of Technology
- Date: 4/10 (Fri)
Topic: "After Darwin—Speciation and Selection in the Genomic Age"
Lecturer: Chung-I Wu, Chairman, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago/Academician, Academia Sinic
- Date: 4/17 (Fri)
Topic: " How did Drosophila get a pair of good looking legs: Exploring the origin of new features from molecular biology"
Lecturer: Arytom Kopp, Assistant Professor, University of California at Davis
- Date: 5/8 (Fri)
Topic: "Gene regulation in the evolution of pigment patterns in Drosophila"
Lecturer: John True, Assistant Professor, New York University at Stony Brook
- Date: 6/5 (Fri)
Topic: "Evolutionary Biology since the Origin of Species: Let's begin our talk from Darwin's 200th birthday."
Lecturer: Professor Douglas J. Futuyama, Professor, New York University at StonyBrook
Ever since Darwin published his theory of evolution 150 years ago, he has exerted tremendous influence on the history of life and its interaction with Mother Nature. Whether it be in the fields of science, in the sociological applications, or about the positioning of human beings in their environments, Darwin remains a prominent scholar. The British Council in Taiwan adopts "Darwin Now" as the theme for the first Formosan Science Season, and collaborates with the National Taiwan Museum, the National Museum of Natural Science, the National Museum of Science and Technology, the Forestry Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture, and NTU's College of Life Sciences to launch a series of year round exhibitions and activities. As these events are very exciting in terms of their contents, members of the press are welcome to attend and report them.