10 ways to celebrate today's 'Origin of Species' birthday

Charles Darwin lectures, exhibits, artifacts and tattoos to commemorate his famous book's birthday.

There’s no such thing as too much Charles Darwin-celebrating. So after rejoicing in February for his 200th birthday, we celebrate today the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. Whether you’re in Israel or Columbus, and whether you want to see a first edition of the book or have an endangered animal tattooed on your forearm, there’s something just for you. Thanks for Origin, Chas. Here’s to another 150 years.

1. Get some ink. If you are so totally committed to celebrating Darwin’s achievements that you want to spend the rest of your life with a not-so-subtle reminder, the Ultimate Holding Company is looking for volunteers to be tattooed with endangered species. ExtInked is an exhibition of drawings, illustrating 100 of the most endangered species in the British Isles. The exhibit, which runs until December 1, will close with the dramatic live tattooing of the drawings on 100 human ambassadors for the threatened birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, plants and fungi. (Is there really someone volunteering to get a fungi tat?) Check out the site to see which organisms are already taken and which you could still volunteer to wear on your skin for eternity. Exhibitionist inking takes place November 26 through November 29, in Salford, England.

2. Join a free webcast. Two lectures today, brought to us by the Darwin 150 Project Lecture Series. First at 1 p.m. EST is Frontiers of Evolution, from Professor E.O. Wilson, Everett Mendelsohn and others, at Harvard. Then at 6 p.m. EST is Celebrating 150 Years of ‘Origin of Species,’ with Gerald Edelman, Paul Ekman and Terrence Deacon, at the New York Academy of Sciences.

3. Join a discussion about the value of the book. Is Origin the greatest book ever written? Join a discussion today at London’s Natural History Museum of this very topic. The book has been called blasphemous, revolutionary and world-changing. But is it the greatest? After the event, attendees will be able to see some of the first editions of the book held in the museum’s library.

4. Surround yourself with Darwin experts in Israel. From Darwin to Evo-Devo: A Symposium in honor of the 150th anniversary of Darwin's The Origin of Species will conclude today at the Technion--Israel Institute of Technology. On the agenda are speakers from Technion, Harvard, Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Universitat Cologne, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Basel.

5. Celebrate in style, eh. It’s the final day of Origin of Species at 150: A Celebratory Conference at the University of Toronto, which means it’s time tonight for the gala celebratory dinner: A Toast To Charles Darwin at the Colony Grande Ballroom in Toronto. $60.

6. Bring religion into the mix. Tonight, at London’s Rochester Cathedral, University of London professor Michael Reiss lectures about Darwin, Evolution and God’s Action in the World.

7. Tour Chuck’s birthplace. Charles Darwin was born at The Mount, in Shrewsbury. If you’re not in Britain, take a virtual tour of the place where Darwin lived during his school and college days, and the place to which he returned after his famous Beagle voyage.

8. Become a friend. The Darwin 150 Project, a public science education initiative focused on this 150th birthday, aims to bring the important insights of Darwin and science in general to the mainstream. What better way to do this than through Facebook? The nonprofit initiative already has a quarter-million fans, and the goal is to bring that number up to one million today, the birthday. Click here to join.

9. Get three-for-one in Amherst. Three Amherst College venues celebrate the birthday with new exhibits. The Museum of Natural History will feature an exhibit called Simple and Grand, with several copies of the book, bones of modern and fossil animals and a 19th century microscope. The Frost Library and The Mead Art Museum have concurrent exhibits. All are free and open to the public.

10. Listen to a Darwin scholar in Ohio. Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man, December 3, hosted by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in conjunction with The Ohio State University, Darwin: The Growth of an Idea. Darwin scholar Dr. Tim Berra will lecture at Ohio State and sign copies of his book, Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com


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