Global Audience Celebrates 150 Years since Darwin's Great Book

A webinar enabled hundreds to attend an Academy event commemorating The Origin of Species.

A webinar broadcast enabled several hundred laypeople, faculty, and science students, including classrooms full of biology students at Hyderabad University in India and at Georgia Tech, to attand an Academy event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's book, The Origin of Species. The event, which drew a live audience of more than 300, was part of the Academy's Autumn 2009 Science & the City Series, Provocative Thinkers in Science. The celebration featured lectures by three prominent scientists explaining how Darwin's work influenced their own research and progress in their diverse fields. The Academy partnered with the Darwin 150 Project to promote the event to a global audience.

Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman, chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute, spoke about Darwin and the evolution of the human brain, and shared new observations about the emergence of consciousness. Paul Ekman, a psychologist famous for his understanding of human deception and facial expression, spoke about Darwin's observations of compassion across species. And University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Biological Anthropology and Neuroscience, Terrence Deacon, spoke about the evolution of language.

A Science & the City podcast featuring interviews with the three speakers is available online.