Sunday 12 February 2017: Visit to Darwin Lecture in Shrewsbury

On Sunday 12 February 2017, we have reserved 25 seats at £12 each for the Darwin Memorial Lecture at the Walker Theatre in the Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, and 20 seats at The Armoury for lunch beforehand (12.00 noon). Members, partners and friends welcome. The lecture is at 2.00 pm.

COINCIDENCE? DARWIN, WALLACE AND THE CO-DISCOVERY OF EVOLUTION BY NATURAL SELECTION Dr Andrew Berry, Harvard University.

Evolution by natural selection is biology’s central idea and arguably its most important one.

That this disarmingly simple notion was independently discovered synchronously by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace suggests that our focus should be on what they had in common, the milieu – social, cultural, technological, political – in which they lived.

This lecture will review some of the factors underlying the Darwin-Wallace breakthrough, emphasizing the implicit lesson for the history of science – that for a full understanding we need a multi-dimensional reconstruction of the world in which scientists lived and worked.

Dr Berry, educated in Shrewsbury, is a lecturer in evolutionary biology at Harvard University and has published extensively on both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace.

If you would like a lecture ticket and/or a lunch place, contact Margaret Cann as soon as possible.

14 February: Darwin Memorial Lecture – Alexander von Humboldt and his influence on Darwin

We have reserved seats for the Darwin Memorial Lecture, and a table at The Armoury for lunch beforehand (arrive 12 noon). Members, partners and friends welcome.

The lecture is on Sunday February 14th at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn, starting at 2.30 pm. The tickets for the lecture cost £10 each. Pay for your choice of meal on the day.

Please tell us if you’ll be joining us for lunch and lecture or just lecture. Payment must be made by  December 12th.

Please contact Ron Falder at falder [at] hotmail.com.

The Invention Of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt And His Influence On Charles Darwin, by Andrea Wulf

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a visionary scientist who created the way we understand nature today. His writings, though unfortunately often ignored now, was enormously influential in its day and shaped the work of Darwin and many other scientists and thinkers of his day. Andrea Wulf will examine these relationships and outline the contribution that Humboldt made to the study of nature and scientific method.

Andea Wulf is a historian whose work has focussed on the relationship between humankind and the natural world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her book Founding Gardeners. The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation was published to great acclaim in spring 2011. Her most recent book The Invention of Nature published in 2015, makes the case for the recognition of Humboldt as a key figure in nineteenth century science as the thinker who understood the interconnectedness of nature and who saw earth as a living organism.

Wallace 100 – the other ‘father’ of evolution by natural selection

 This year is the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace and Darwin came from very different backgrounds – the subject of the lecture in Shrewsbury on 10 February. Darwin was a wealthy man, who could devote his time to his work. Wallace earned his living by travelling and finding specimens for collectors. It was a letter from Wallace that spurred Darwin to publish the theory he had been working on for so many years.

Find out more about Wallace through the Natural History Museum in London.

Darwin Lecture 2013

The 2013 Darwin Lecture in will take place on Sunday 10th February at 2.30pm in the Walker Theatre (within the Theatre Severn Complex) in Shrewsbury.

The lecture will be given by Professor Jim Moore of the Open University and will be entitled “Making Livings – The Economic Worlds of Darwin and Wallace”. Tickets will cost £10 each.

The programme of forthcoming events comments that…. “Alfred Russel Wallace, who wrote about evolution at the same time as Darwin, died in 1913. To recognise his contribution this year’s lecture focuses on the relationship between the two men, their differences and their similarities”.

Details of the lecture and of the Theatre Severn Complex can be found at http://www.theatresevern.co.uk/WhatsOn_focus.asp?ShowId=1087&sC=page10

As in 2012, the Shropshire Humanist Group will be arranging a group booking to the lecture itself along with an optional lunch at or close to the theatre (a suitable venue will be selected shortly).

To be sure of our seats it will be prudent for us to book them well before the festive season gets underway. Although it may feel rather early, if you would like to attend this event could you please let us know as soon as possible and, at the same time, indicate whether you would be interested in meeting for lunch beforehand.

 

Upcoming events from the BHA

Saturday 14 Jan 2012 – Beyond the Veil day conference
Saturday 28 January – Blasphemy day conference
Wednesday 8 February – Darwin Day Lecture featuring Adam Rutherford (chaired by Richard Dawkins)

Details below:

Beyond the Veil – a closer look at spirits, mediums and ghosts

A day conference presented by the Centre for Inquiry UK and the British Humanist Association taking a closer look at spirits, mediums and ghosts.
Date: Saturday 14 th January 2012
Time: Registration: 10.30am Start: 11am – Finish 16.00pm
Address: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Nearest tube: Holborn

Information and tickets: http://www.humanism.org.uk/meet-up/events/view/168?page=1
Tickets: General: £10 general public, Members and students: £8 BHA, AHS and SPES members and students with valid ID, Free to members of the Centre for Inquiry UK – please register online.
***Special offer*** Joint ticket for both this event and the Blasphemy! event on the 28th January: £16 for a general ticket, and £12 for members and students.
Speakers:
CHRIS FRENCH – Spirits on the brain: Insights from psychology and neuroscience

Chris French is a Professor of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and former editor of the Skeptic.

HAYLEY STEVENS – ‘Is there anybody there?’
A ghost hunter that doesn’t hunt for ghosts, Hayley Stevens has been researching paranormal reports since 2005. She is the co-host of the Righteous Indignation Podcast, blogs at ‘Hayley is a Ghost’, occasionally writes for numerous publications, and has spoken internationally about ghosts and critical thinking.

PAUL ZENON – Mediums at Large
Paul has been a professional trickster for almost thirty years during that period has appeared countless times as performer, presenter and pundit on numerous TV shows across many genres.

RICHARD WISEMAN – Paranormality
Richard Wiseman is the Professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He has been active in the skeptical movement for many a year, does Twitter stuff, has recently written ‘Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there’, and likes dogs.

IAN ROWLAND – You Are The Magic
Ian Rowland is a writer and entertainer with an interest in various aspects of how the mind works or sometimes doesn’t. He taught FBI agents how to be persuasive, and taught Derren Brown how to read fortunes. In America, in front of 10 million TV viewers, he proved that he could talk to dead people – or at least fake it well enough to convince complete strangers. He knows an awful lot about cold reading (look it up), but tries not to drone on about it at parties. He is good at drinking tea and waiting for interesting invitations to come his way.

‘Blasphemy!’ – blasphemy, religious hatred, and human rights: who speaks for the sacred?
A day conference focusing on the criminalization of religious hatred, defamation, and insult under European human rights, and how this functions as a de facto blasphemy law.
Date: Saturday  28th January 2012
Time:  Registration 10.30am for a 11.00am start – Finish -16.30 pm
Address: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
Nearest tube: Holborn
Tickets and informationhttp://www.humanism.org.uk/meet-up/events/view/169?page=1
PricesGeneral: £10 general public, Members and students: £8 BHA, AHS and SPES members and students with valid ID, Free to members of the Centre for Inquiry UK.
***Special offer*** Joint tickets to this event and the Beyond the Veil event on the 14th January: £16 general public and £12 members and student ticket offer
 
Description/ details of the event– Introduced by Dr Stephen Law of Heythrop College, University of London and Editor of Think, and featuring writer, lecturer and broadcaster Kenan Malik , Andrew Copson on Blasphemy laws by the back door, Austin Dacey, representative to the United Nations for the International Humanist and Ethical Union; Jacob Mchangama, director of legal affairs in the independent think tank Center for Political Studies (CEPOS) based in Copenhagen and others.

Creation: synthetic biology and the origin of life
BHA 2012 Darwin Day Lecture
Chaired by Richard Dawkins, the 2012 Darwin Day lecture will be presented by renowned author, broadcaster, scientist, and geek Adam Rutherford.
Date: 8th February 2012
Time: 7:00 for a 7:30pm start – 9:30pm
Venue: Congress Hall, Congress Centre 28 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3LS
 
Dr Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, author and broadcaster, as well as an editor at the science journal Nature. He presents television and radio programmes and is a writer for The Guardian newspaper.
Tickets General public: £12
Members and students: £7 (BHA, AHS, CFI and UKAFHA members and students)

Darwin Festival and Memorial Lecture, February 2012

In February next (in place of a Thursday evening meeting) we are arranging for groups to attend events during The Darwin Festival.
This year the Darwin Memorial Lecture is given by Dr Jim Endersby, with the title Sympathetic Science: Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker and the passions of Victorian Naturalists. It takes place at 2:30 pm, Sunday 12 February, Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury, and all tickets are £10.
If you are a Shropshire Humanist Group member, or would like to join and attend as part of the group, please contact Chris Smith, the group’s secretary. Payment is required by 15 December.
Nearer the time we will suggest a venue where we could meet for lunch before the lecture.
Details of the lecture and of other Darwin Festival events can be found at http://www.discoverdarwin.co.uk/darwin-festival/

Darwin Festival 2012 – the Café Scientifique, February 2012

Shrewsbury Café Scientifique will launch in February 2012 as part of the 2012 Darwin Festival.

Give your grey cells a good work out with a series of evening events at The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse which is situated between the station and the library (see contact details below).

Each café is FREE, informal and innovative and will run from 7pm-9pm. The Café Sci have managed to get some pretty inspirational speakers too. Come along for a coffee and see what you think. Full details of the five events can be found below.

There will only be 65 seats available at each talk. I have taken on the role of coordinator for Shropshire Humanist Group members and supporters who would like to attend one or more of the events, with a view to making our initial reservations by mid December. If you are interested in attending any of these evening talks  please let me know by Friday 16th December.

To contact Café Scientifique  directly: Sarah Bellis, The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, 5 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AE

Phone: 01743 242610 / 07582 601272 Email: SaraB@ShropshireWildlifeTrust.org.uk

Monday 13th February 2012

Randomness, Boeing 747s and Kylie Minogue – Jeremy Pritchard

Jeremy Pritchard is a scientist with a Twitter feed and a Facebook fan page. He has been described as “awesome”; his ability to defend evolution has “flair few can muster”. Join us for a lively evening of chat covering randomness, Boeing 747s and Kylie Minogue.

Tuesday 14th February 2012

Celebrating Mr Darwin – How should Shrewsbury celebrate its links to Charles Darwin? Shropshire Council, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and The Darwin Birthplace Society are in the same room for just two hours to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday 15th February 2012

The natural history of The Marches – Andrew Allott

Stretching along the bordering counties with England – Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – the Welsh Marches are made up of a mixture of mountains and moorlands, farms and wooded river valleys. The natural history of the region is like most parts of the British Isles – inextricably linked to the activities of man across many thousands of years. Andrew Allott brings together a wealth of material into a beautiful presentation celebrating our local wildlife.

Thursday 16th February 2012

@CharlesDarwin? – Jon King

Would Darwin have used Twitter? You may laugh, but social media has proved to be a powerfully effective means to spread new ideas and change the way we think. Darwin’s dangerous idea rocked the world- can we dissolve boundaries to create “biospheric” communication? Jon King is the Founding Director of the Shrewsbury Darwin Festival and is presently the senior eCommunications Officer at Shropshire Council.

Friday 17th February 2012

Citizen Science – Martin Harvey

Join Martin Harvey from the Open University for a chat about wildlife recording and Citizen Science. What is it? How does it work and what are the benefits and drawbacks of large scale science experiments? Martin will give a demonstration of the OPAL iSpot website, linking novice wildlife spotters with experts in the identification and mapping of British wildlife, and some of the other OPAL citizen science surveys. If you have even the slightest interest in wildlife, this cafe is for you.

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