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World-Renowned Scientists to Celebrate Darwin’s Life, Legacy at the Florida State University

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CONTACT: Frank Stephenson
(850) 644-8634

January 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- This year marks the 200th birthday of pioneering naturalist Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book “The Origin of Species,” truly a landmark work that changed the world. Celebrations and tributes, both large and small, are scheduled around the globe this year, and many are already under way.

At The Florida State University, two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author and world-renowned biologist E.O. Wilson will be among the headliners of a two-week-long celebration of what discoveries in science and the humanities have meant to modern civilization.

Wilson will join acclaimed Harvard cosmologist Lisa Randall; famed anthropologist Don Johanson (co-discoverer of “Lucy,” the world’s most famous fossil); Sean B. Carroll, noted biologist and author; and Ira Flatow of National Public Radio’s “Science Friday,” among many others, for the program, which begins March 16 and runs through March 28.

Unlike many tributes scheduled around the nation and the world, Florida State’s program, named “Origins ’09,” is designed to go beyond Darwin’s legacy and show how the evolution of ideas in fields ranging from physics to art have shaped what humans know not only about life and nature but what that knowledge poses for the future. The program will culminate in a special tribute to the origins of jazz by a collaboration of musicians and performers from Florida State’s College of Music and from Florida A&M University.

“Origins ‘09” is being sponsored by Florida State’s Office of Research and is co-sponsored by Florida State’s College of Medicine and the Tallahassee Scientific Society. It’s all part of a tribute to 2009 as the Year of Science, a national designation inspired by the 200th birthday of Darwin (Feb. 12).

Major funding for this event is being provided by the Florida Humanities Council. All events are free and open to the public. For the full schedule of events, as well as more information, visit