Iowa City Darwin Day celebrates the benefits of science for humanity, and all are invited to celebrate this year by attending virtual talks by prestigious scientists! All Iowa City Darwin Day events are free and open to the public.
Erich Jarvis’ talk “Evolution of Brain Pathways for Vocal Learning and Spoken Language” will be on Friday, February 12 at 12 PM CST. Erich Jarvis is a professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Language at the Rockefeller University. He uses song-learning birds and other species as models to study the molecular and genetic mechanisms that underlie vocal learning, including how humans learn spoken language. He chairs the international Vertebrate Genomes Project which studies how species are genetically related and how unique characteristics evolve. Jarvis also collaborates on a project to generate a new human pangenome reference that will represent over 90% of genetic diversity.
Dr. Jarvis is the 2002 recipient of the National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award and was awarded the Director’s Pioneer Award by the National Institutes of Health in 2008. He received the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award in 2019
Charmaine Royal’s talk “Race, Genetics, and Health” followed by a panel discussion will be on Friday, February 19 at 4 PM CST.
Charmaine Royal is a 2020 Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. She is Associate Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. She is also core faculty in the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, senior fellow in Kenan Institute for Ethics, and faculty in the Social Science Research Institute where she directs the Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. Dr. Royal’s research, scholarship, and teaching focus on ethical, legal, and social issues in genetics and genomics, particularly the intersection of race and genetics and its policy implications and practical interventions.
UI Professor of History Mariola Espinosa
UI Visiting Professor of Law Phoebe Jean-Pierre
Dr. Brian Donovan , BSCS
Moderator: UI Associate Professor of Law Anya Prince
Iowa City Darwin Day, a grand celebration of science, will be held February 21-22 featuring speakers Carin Bondar, John Novembre, and Anya Prince. There will also be a talk by Elizabeth Yale “Illustrated Natural History in Victorian Britain: How Darwin and his contemporaries shared knowledge in books,” a free teacher workshop “Playing with Fire? How we perpetuate biological beliefs about race in the classroom and how we can avoid it,” a free workshop open to all “The Groundwater Approach: Building a practical understanding of structural racism,” and a screening of The Fly at FilmScene on the Ped Mall. All Iowa City Darwin Day events are free and open to the public.
The Iowa City Darwin Day 2020 guide offers additional books and media to accompany this year’s celebration! Visit the Sciences Library to see our new Iowa City Darwin Day Exhibit! Chauncey is wearing his favorite Iowa City Darwin Day t-shirt and hanging out with the finches, coral, and iguana on display! In addition to books by and about Darwin, we have books authored by Carin Bondar. A biologist and science communicator from the University of the Fraser Valley, Bondar is host of several TV series including Worlds Oddest Animal Couples (Animal Planet, Netflix), Stephen Hawking’s Brave New World (Discovery World HD, National Geographic) and Outrageous Acts of Science (The Science Channel). Bondar’s talk “Evolution and the Modern Mom: The unique conundrum of Homo sapiens” will be at noon on Sat, Feb 22 in Macbride Auditorium, Macbride Hall. At 3 PM at Prairie Lights, she will read from her book Wild Sex: The Science Behind Mating in the Animal Kingdom.
Many thanks to the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and Earth and Environmental Sciences Special Collections for loaning us their specimens!
Iowa City Darwin Day celebrates science, evolution, and Darwin’s birthday this week! Sharon DeWitte and Ana Duggan will give talks about their research into epidemics and infectious diseases. Jeanne Serb will speak about the evolution of vision in animals, and Nicholas Strausfeld will present on the evolution of insect brains. There will be cake at Darwin’s birthday party on Saturday! The events will wrap up with a screening of the movie Contagion at FilmScene and a discussion led by Black Death expert Sharon DeWitte.
The UI Libraries offers numerous books, movies, and articles pertinent to Iowa City Darwin Day! We have the movie Contagion on DVD/Blu-ray, the Greatest Show on Earth and other works on evolution, the complete works of Charles Darwin and the graphic adaptation of On the Origin of Species, and much more in our Iowa City Darwin Day guide!