Friday, 13 February 2009

Poetry Matters (3): Darwin: science 'versus' poetry

I have been planning for some days to write about Darwin and the developing debate along the lines of the intrinsic weightings of science as opposed to poetry. Thankfully I have been pipped to the post by Professor David Morley of the University of Warwick.

There has been much talk about the 250th anniversary of the publication of The Origins of the Species, but far less media coverage (or so it seems to me) concerning the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, 12 February 2009. The latter event has not been completely overshadowed, however: Americans at the University of Arizona marked the scientist's birthday with ... poetry.

Britain also had his celebrations: Ruth Padel, great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin, was taking part in a poetry and science event at Somerset House on 9 February. Her latest book, Darwin: a Life in Poems has just been published. I am grateful to my friend, Mary, for pointing out that Melvyn Bragg has been doing a major radio series on Darwin (In our Time, BBC Radio 4): take a look at the website.

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