And if you are on Twitter, give @kejames a follow!
I heard this from Karen at Science Online 2011 over the weekend, but she now announces on the Beagle Project Blog that they have received a substantial donation, and plan to “hire a full-time professional fundraiser and 2) re-launch the project in the form of a new website and new marketing, fundraising and communications mechanisms.”
And if you, dear reader, have not yet donated, I can only ask, Why not?
Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs: Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Gishosaurs
Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution wins the Royal Society’s Science Book Prize
VIDEO – The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Sandwalk: Dispatches from the Evolution Wars
The Red Notebook: People want to see the Beagle
Two interviews with Laelaps’ Brian Switek, author of the soon-to-be-released Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature
Clips from the new documentary First Life from David Attenborough, plus:
History of geology: Dragons and Geology
BBC Audio Slideshow: Jurassic woman (Mary Anning)
From the Hands of Quacks: For the Maker of the Stars: The Cultural Reception of Print
Whewell’s Ghost: Mr. X
History of science blog: Evocative objects
Darwin and Gender: The Blog: The Reluctant Bride Groom?
Darwin Correspondence Project: Alison Pearn to discuss ‘Darwin’s Women’ at Wesleyan University
Charlie’s Playhouse blog: Irresistible contest entry
Natural History @ 100: The Smithsonian/Roosevelt African Expedition 1909-1910
Ptak Science Books: Phantom in the Opera: Questions about Darwin and Einstein and Music
Robert Kohler reviews Steven Shapin’s Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority for Science
Melanie Keene reviews Peter Bowler’s Science for All: The Popularization of Science in Early Twentieth-Century Britain in Centaurus
National Library of Australia: Books and their owners: a tiny link with the past:
Joseph Dalton Hooker (who features in Creation) was most certainly not a beetle-collecting vicar, but a distinguished scientist in his own right. A tiny link with him surfaced in the NLA collections recently. Hooker was Darwin’s lifelong friend and confidant, and encouraged him to publish his Origin of Species. Hooker himself had a fascinating life, travelling on scientific expeditions to the Antarctic, the Himalayas, India, the Middle East and the US western states. He became director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, writing and publishing until well into his 90s. He died in 1911 at the age 0f 94.
petri dish: a child’s-eye view of charles darwin:
This isn’t a perspective on the history of science with which I’m particularly comfortable, as it draws a veil over the hard work of how scientific knowledge emerges, is debated, and then rendered authoritative in a dynamic interplay along many dimensions. And it does, again, tend to make for a “safe” presentation of Darwin and science, rehabilitating him, perhaps, from invidious perspectives that have convinced many that the word “Darwin” is synonymous with hidden agendas that aim to hijack scientific thought for the purpose of destroying faith in God on dishonest pretenses. A depiction of a robust and engagingly curious young Charles who is almost a blank slate, aside from his fondness for be[e]tles — indeed, who is an orthodox believer at the start of the voyage — as an alert conduit for Nature’s empirical truth is hard to square with a vision of a sinister and conniving Darwin out to dupe the devout as the devil’s chaplain. There’s an undertone of scientific apotheosis that I’m not eager to pass along with lessons on evolution if that’s what comes along with a child’s-eye view of Charles Darwin.
Guardian Science Blog: The Beagle, the astronaut and a party in Brazil put the awe back into science:
“Space stations, square riggers and marine biology: science does not get more exciting than this, and we need to get the inquiring young minds of today excited by science,” Barratt said. “The ISS circling the world while a scientific square rigger with Beagle’s pedigree rounds Cape Horn, making new discoveries at sea and on land, streaming footage back to labs and classrooms will be a great way to welcome young minds into the excitement and adventure of science.”
Darwin would have been proud.
Chronicle Herald: Thomas creates wonderful world, characters in pre-Darwin Britain:
One of Thomas’s greatest strengths in the novel is her ability to make us see the world from the eyes of people who do not know the concept of evolution — Anning’s astounding fossil finds were made years before Darwin’s ideas were published. The ideas of intellectuals and peasants alike were contained within a framework of theology and limited science. It was not until 12 years after Anning’s premature death, at the age of 47, that Darwin published On The Origin of Species in 1859. So the world in which Mary found the ammonites and “bezoars,” which she sold to wealthy tourists visiting her hometown of Lyme Regis, England, was one in which there was not an extensive scientific understanding or explanation for the fossils.
We are working flat out to see that the country that gave the world HMS Beagle and all the discoveries that flowed from her decks and crew has a sailing replica of this great ship too. We know times are tight, but if you have £5 million to spare there is little better you could do to help lighten the nationally austere mood than by helping us build and launch a sailing replica of the ship that changed the world.
I learned today at the volunteer/intern orientation that in the olden days (1950s), the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry had a spaceman mascot, named Ismo (OMSI backwards).
Science is fun, Ismo! But who needs such a silly-looking mascot when OMSI has its own astronaut and OMSI kid:
Barratt, I should note, has ties with The HMS Beagle Project.
Wednesday we leave for a trip to California to see both of our families and a few days in Yosemite National Park (I’ve never been), and I will start interning at OMSI in mid-June, with the Einstein exhibit coming later in that month. In the meantime, I’ve some Tyndall letters to finish up, and reading Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe.
Tuesday, 12 July 2009
This morning I left Cambridge. I just want to make note of one of the books that sat on the nightstand in my bed and breakfast room:
That book on top is Period Piece by Gwen Raverat. Raverat was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin, and Period Piece is her memoir about her childhood in Cambridge, and recollections of the Darwin family.
Walking from my lodgings to the train station, I passed by the entrance to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. This, along with the Darwin and art exhibit Endless Forms at the Fitzwilliam Museum, is one of the places I wanted to visit but missed (the botanic garden has an exhibit on Darwin and carnivorous plants).
As I walked from the garden entrance to the train station, one of the wheels on my bag busted off. No good. At times I carried it and other times I just let the one side of the bag drag on the ground – it depended on the condition of the sidewalks: smooth or higgledly-piggledly. When on the train from Cambridge to London, the train’s power failed while in a tunnel and we sat there for about 20 minutes. Remember that on the tube in London when heading to King’s Cross Station on my first day in England the track failed, leading to my regretting the decision to use the stairs rather than the elevator to get above ground. To and fro did not treat me well on this trip, but while I was at my destinations everything was great!
Before getting to Heathrow Airport, I decided to get off at the South Kensington station to quickly visit Karen James at the Natural History Museum (whom I had also seen in Cambridge). Turns out she was too busy with meetings, but I got to walk around the museum for about an hour, picked up a few souviners, and met up with another good friend. I was surprised at how many visitors there were in the museum. While that is understandable given the free admission, a girl working in the museum store told me that this day was rather slow, because school had not yet let out. Here are some photos from my visit to NHM:
After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions was open but I hadn’t the time:
In After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions, major artists and writers exhibit newly-commissioned and existing work, inspired by Charles Darwin’s book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Their pieces explore Darwin’s theory that expressing emotion is not unique to humans, but is shared with animals.
At the Darwin Shop I picked up coffee mug with Darwin’s tree of life sketch on it, and Kristan Lawson’s Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities:
I took pictures of the other books I got during the trip, and all the Darwin literature (brochures, postcards, etc.).
About this statue, which replaced a statue of Richard Owen at the top of the stairs:
The Darwin statue was created by Sir Joseph Boehm and was unveiled on 9 June 1885. In 1927 it was moved to make way for an Indian elephant specimen, and then moved again in 1970 to the North Hall. The statue’s return to its original prime position is in time for the anniversary of Darwin’s birth 200 years ago, and for the start of the programme of Darwin200 events.
“Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds, which follows from the advance of science.”
Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882)
Dedicated by The Rt Hon Andrew Burnham MP. Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, on the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, 12 February 2009
This is my favorite photo from the NHM:
And of course, me with the man who gave reason for my trip to Cambridge:
Here is the last photograph I took on the trip:
Made my way to Heathrow, got lunch, damn near missed my flight, flew to Minneapolis, bumped into George from the American Computer Museum in Bozeman there (we were on the same flight), and after a delay flew home to Bozeman. And that was that. Not bad for my first trip out of the United States. I will be going to London this fall for a research trip (archives at the Royal Insitution and Kew Gardens), and will spend more time at the Natural History Museum and – how can I not! – visit Down House, Darwin’s home and laboratory for four decades. If the Darwin biopic Creation (check out the very cool flash website) has not opened in the states yet, I will hopefully see it in London.
The HMS Beagle Project has recently started doing podcasts. The second episode features Karen and Richard, and they both talk about their time with me in Cambridge. Karen said my trip to Cambridge was my Mecca. You can listen to it here.
PREVIOUS: Cambridge Trip #9: Darwin’s Room at Christ’s College; Cambridge Trip #8: Darwin’s Microscope at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science; Cambridge Trip #7: Beetles, Finches and Barnacles at the University Museum of Zoology; Cambridge Trip #6: Darwin the Geologist at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences; Cambridge Trip #5: Darwin Groupies Explore Cambridge; Cambridge Trip #4: Darwin in the Field Conference, Pt. 2; Cambridge Trip #3: Darwin in the Field Conference; Cambridge Trip #2: Finding My Way; Cambridge Trip #1: Traveling