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Sunday, February 12, 2006


It's Darwin Day

Today is Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Dawin, a consumate naturalist whose theory of natural selection revolutionised biology.

In honour of Chas, we went to the Flotilla for Kids in Port Adelaide. Darwin visited Australia on his voyage in the Beagle, which was the catalyst for his theories. He landed in Sydney (later, his manservant Symes Covington would live in Sydney, and send Darwin materials that would be used in the "Origin"), Tasmania and Western Australia on his visit, but unfortunately not Adelaide, which was ordinarily a major port of call for ships on the "roaring 40's" route. Darwin, the capital of the Northen Territory (which he never visited either), was named after Chas.

As we watched the Tall Ships go past, I could fancy myself as a naturalist on one of those voyages, sailing out into the uncharted reaches of the world, to find mazing things. My research on neuronal surbvival will never have the same impact as Chas's, but the way we conduct researcxh was changed forveer by his work.

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