Monday, March 9, 2009

Darwin Celebrations Around the World

File:Voyage of the Beagle-en.svgThis year marks Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and celebrations are planned all over the world. The website,, boasts 730 events scheduled in 45 countries this year and describe the event as "an international celebration of science and humanity" to honor the man and his work.

Here is a glimpse of what's happening in some of the places Darwin visited during his famous voyage of discovery on the HMS Beagle.

Galapagos Islands
The famed islands from Darwin's studies aren't letting his birthday pass unnoticed. You can take a trip aboard one of the many cruise ships that are taking guests back in time to the days of Darwin. There will be presentations on the life, studies, and theories of Darwin. Guests will also be able to witness the same animals and islands that Darwin himself studied over two centuries ago.

In Australia you can celebrate Darwin's birthday by attending a dinner at the Melbourne Museum. Even the menu is a nod at Darwin's contributions:
"Graze your way through the evolutionary tree starting with primeval soup; sampling the origins of marine crustacean life; savouring the delicacies represented by the rise of tetrapods and the dawn of the first plants on the land; relish the devilish delights of the dinosaur period, and finishing with a devastatingly delicious meteorite impact surprise."
In addition to dinner there will be Darwin exhibits, IMAX film features, and the National Institute of Circus arts will perform their Whale Evolution show.

South Africa
In South Africa Darwin's birthday is being commemorated with the opening of an exhibition at the Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the ‘Darwin 200’ program on Human Evolution will be held October 10-12, 2009 in Cape Town.

The Natural History Museum in London is celebrating with special talks, films and events. They even have a Darwin character you can meet, and offer a special menu so you can "eat like Darwin." This is just one of over 300 activities taking place in the UK throughout the next year. You can read more about their celebrations at

Gulf of Maine
Although the Beagle never traveled to the coast of Maine, there are events in the region celebrating Darwin's life and work. Visit the Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life for information on lectures and more.

No matter where you are in the world this year, there are bound to be activities in honor of Charles Darwin.