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Friday, November 20, 2009

The forgotten Wallace, Darwin photography and other exhibitions

A few Wellcome Trust-supported exhibitions that may be of interest to Tree of Life blog readers.

The first, for a change, does not focus on Charles Darwin. A R Wallace – The Forgotten Evolutionist is part of a project to research and promote the contributions of Alfred Russel Wallace to the theories of Natural Selection and Evolution.

At the first public reading of the Wallace and Darwin papers on Natural Selection on 1 July 1858 the two men were given equal status and recognition. However, whilst Darwin is celebrated, Wallace has faded from the popular history of scientific thought.

Working with Dr George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum, Fred Langford Edwards has explored many university and public collections of natural history, and made two extended research visits to the Amazon Basin and the Maly Archipelago. The resulting work explores the life, ideas, and surviving collections of Wallace, and the physical hardships he endured during his travels.

The exhibition is on at the University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology and open until 8 February 2010.

Second is the Darwin200 Photographic Exhibition at the fabulous Horniman Museum in south London. The exhibition showcases the winners of a photography competition launched earlier this year.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for more details of the Horniman's forthcoming Evolution 2010 project, which "will tell the story of life on earth - how it evolved from simple one-cell organisms 4,000 million years ago to the huge variety of life-forms we see today. It will look at the critical importance of biodiversity to us all and the effects mankind could have on its future".

And if you're in Dublin, check out the Evolvaphone "the one and only booth that generates a musical composition from your identity in accordance with the laws of natural selection". Evolvaphone goes live at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin from Friday 27th November. Check the website for related events celebrating the big 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species next week.

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