Interior Banner for Harvard Museum of Natural History

This series of events took place in 2009:

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of his seminal book, On the Origin of Species. Special programming includes Evolution Matters, a series of evening lectures featuring Harvard professors, and family programs celebrating Darwin’s life and work. To share these programs with others, download the Evolution Matters poster and the Darwin Anniversary Weekend flyer

Visit Darwin Day 200 at Harvard for more information on celebration activities across Harvard's campus.


Darwin at 200: Rethinking the Revolution  

Lecture by Janet Browne

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On February 12, cities and universities around the world will celebrate “Darwin Day.” But what is being celebrated, the achievements of a single individual or the acceptance of his controversial theory of evolution? Harvard's Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, will explore Charles Darwin’s cultural significance and what he has come to represent over time: the idea of scientific progress. Free and open to the public in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.


Evolution in the Post-Genomic Age

Lecture by Pardis Sabeti

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Charles Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace first presented the theory of evolution 150 years ago, yet their ideas still thrive in modern science. Harvard's Pardis Sabeti, a trailblazer in genomic research and one of today’s “top 100 living geniuses,” will discuss how contemporary scientists are applying the principles of natural selection to mine the human genome and untangle the forces that have shaped our species. Dr. Sabeti is an assistant professor in Harvard University’s Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She is also an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Free and open to the public in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.


Survival of the Swiftest, Smartest, or Fattest? Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin

Lecture by Daniel Lieberman

Thursday, MArch 5, 2009

One hundred and fifty years after the publication of On the Origin of Species, we can now trace several major episodes of natural selection that resulted in modern humans. But, paradoxically, humans have created a world that is leading to a kind of “dysevolution.” Harvard Professor of Biological Anthropology Daniel Lieberman explains how many of the adaptations that enabled us to succeed as active hunter-gatherers, including the ability to store fat for lean time, can now impair our well-being and may even threaten our species' very survival. Free and open to the public in the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.


One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin

Family program and booksigning with Kathryn Lasky and Matthew Trueman

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Children’s book author Kathryn Lasky and artist Matthew Trueman will take us on an illustrated journey through Charles Darwin’s early years—from his childhood activity of collecting beetles in a local pond to his historic voyage around South America in search of the wildlife and geology that would form the basis of his theory of evolution. Free with museum admission.

Image courtesy of Candlewick Press. 


An Afternoon with Charles Darwin

Family program with Andrew Berry

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Imagine meeting Charles Darwin! What stories would he tell? What would you ask him? To celebrate the anniversary of his birth, Darwin (as resurrected by Andrew Berry) returns from the past to talk about his life, show some fossils and animal specimens from his voyages, and take you on a walk through the museum’s zoological galleries. Dr. Berry is well-qualified for this role: he teaches evolution at Harvard, runs a history of science program in the United Kingdom on the development of Darwin's ideas, and even attended the same English high school as Darwin. Free with museum admission.