Field of Science

Darwin symposium at Caltech

For those of you in SoCal here's a tip on how to spend Thursday May 14th: At the Beckman auditorium at Caltech, because that's the time and place of

A symposium on the occasion of:
The 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth
The 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species
The 20th anniversary of the Beckman Institute at Caltech

It's free for all, and speakers include among others:

Eric Davidson: "Some New Ways of Thinking About, and Working on, Evolution of the Body Plan"
John Grotzinger: "Geologic and Environmental Context of the Early Cambrian Radiation of Animals"
Christoph Adami: "The Free-for-All" Effect: A Mechanism for a Drastically Varying Rate of Evolution"
Frances Arnold: "On Beyond Nature: Protein Evolution in the Laboratory"
Michael Ruse: "The Origin at 150: Is it past its Sell-by date?"
Peter and Rosemary Grant: "Darwin's Finches"

Full program is here.


  1. Went to the symposium, it was excellent, particularly Adami's presentation on the "Free-For_all" effect, and Jesse Bloom's discussion of H1N1 evo.

  2. Unfortunately I arrived as Jesse Bloom was finishing up. Would have liked to hear that one - what I do has some relevance to virus evolution.

    I liked Arnold's talk a lot, too, though not her wording that "how p450 came to be is not evolution, but creation" threw me off quite a bit. Of course its origin is a matter of evolution, and even if we want to emphasize that we are talking about its origin and not its continued evolution, using the word "creation" gives a very wrong impression, to say the least.


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