Darwin 2009 at
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About Darwin 2009
About the Darwin 2009 project
Not controversial

The purpose of Darwin 2009 is to provide a series of venues in which scholars and citizens of Oklahoma can learn and think about the contunuing significance, both scientific and cultural, historical and contemporary of the work of Charles Darwin. 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, on February 12th 1809, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, in November of 1859. It is thus most fitting to commemorate Darwin's life and work this year, and most gratifying that faculty and students from a range of disciplines, departments and academic units from across the University of Oklahoma campus have worked together to create one of the largest and most sustained series of events in the world.

The importance of this topic at this moment results from several factors. Evolutionary ideas are one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of research in contemporary sciences (evolutionary ideas of one sort or another are guiding principles in the biological, physical, and social sciences). The history of the idea of evolution and the individuals involved in its development is a complex and little-understood subject outside of the field of history of science, yet it is a topic that has been the focus of a vast amount of work and about which we have come to know a great deal. The religious and philosophical implications of evolution have both historical and contemporary relevance. The contemporary debates about evolution in America (and increasingly around the globe) have raised questions that bear on political, educational, legal, moral, and religious concerns. To a great extent the debates concerning evolution have come to be debates about the nature of the academy itself, as well as about the political and cultural make-up of the United States. This is a topic that touches on so many aspects of educational and scholarly work across the disciplines that it presents a forum within which the University can rise to its calling as a place where diverse disciplines will speak to each other and where people can come to learn and study.

There are three main audiences for the events we propose: scholars and scientists, students at the university, and the general public, namely the citizens of Oklahoma. Scholars and scientists will benefit from interaction among their peers here at the university, especially through interdepartmental association, as well as through interaction among colleagues in other institutions around the country and the world. Students will benefit from classes taught and special lectures given, dealing with different aspects of the topic. The citizens of Oklahoma can benefit from public lectures, exhibits, and events sponsored by the University. They will also benefit to the extent that we can create programs that will help educate both school teachers and pre-college age students about the issues that surround evolution and its place in contemporary and historical thought.

Darwin 2009 Steering Committee:

Piers J. Hale (History of Science) Co-Chair (website)
Ingo Schlupp (Zoology) Co-Chair (website)
Barry Weaver (Geology) Co-Chair (website)
Stephen Weldon (History of Science) Co-Chair
Richard Broughton (Zoology)
Rosemary Knapp (Zoology)
Cecil Lewis (Anthropology)
Deborah Kay (SNOMNH)
Helen DeBolt (OSLEP)
Jason Brogden (Graduate Student, History of Science)
J. Phil Gibson (Zoology/Biology)
Dean Hougen (Computer Science)
Kerry Magruder (History of Science Collections)
Karen Antell (Library)
Dan Hough (Biological Survey)
Bing Zhang (Zoology)
Ola Finke (Zoology)
Tracie A. LaGere (Journalism)
Katarina Tsetsura (Journalism)
Richard Cifelli (SNOMNH)
John F. Covaleskie (Education)
Lynn D. Devenport (Psychology)
Susan S. Laird (Educational Leadership)
Edmund A. Marek (Science Education)
Bruce A Cairnes (Geriatric Medicine, OUHSC)
Richard Hamerla (Honors College)
Vanessa Harvey (Undergraduate Student, Geology)
Clay Hallman (Graduate Student, Zoology)
Wayne Riggs (Philosophy)

"Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history..."

Charles Darwin image courtesy of British Heritage

Charles Robert Darwin

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed, into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, have been and are being, evolved."

On the Origin of Species (1859)

Beagle courtesy of Darwin Online project

illustration from the Journal of Researches (1845).

Contact Us:
For general enquiries please email us at: DarwinEvents@ou.edu

Co-Chairs of the Darwin 2009 Committee:
Dr. Piers J.Hale: phale@ou.edu
Prof. Ingo Schlupp: schlupp@ou.edu
Prof. Barry Weaver: bweaver@ou.edu
Dr. Stephen Weldon:


John Lynch becomes an Oklahoma Sooner
Richard Dawkins, Rosemary Knapp and Richard Broughton
Darwinian Revolution course flyer
Book Exhibit of first editions for the Darwinian Revolution class
Stephen Weldon and bernard Lightman

1837 notebook courtesy of Darwin Online Project

Illustration above from Darwin's 1837 notebook

Finches courtesy of the Darwin Online Project

A special note of acknowledgement is due to Dr. John van Wyhe and the Darwin Online Project for the use of their scanned images throughout this site.

Dean Bell cuts the Darwin 2009 cake February 12th
Darwin Cake
John van Wyhe
Links on these pages to non-university sites do not represent endorsement by the University of Oklahoma or its affiliates; neither should the opinions or statements expressed herein be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of Oklahoma.