Professor Richard Dawkins delivers the 2009 OU Lecture
“Digital Darwinism is here to stay,” evolutionary expert Professor Richard Dawkins will say at this year’s Open University Annual Lecture on Tuesday 17 March. Discussing the bridges of evolutionary theory and modern leaps into genetics, Professor Dawkins will be presenting his lecture at the Natural History Museum to an invited audience. The lecture, which is strictly by invitation only, will be available for the public to watch live over the internet, beginning at 7.30pm on 17 March at www.open.ac.uk/darwin.
Professor Dawkins’ lecture will be asking whether Darwin was the most revolutionary scientist ever, and examining the evolutionary theories of his contemporaries. Dawkins determines that there are four ‘bridges to evolutionary understanding’ which he will illustrate with four claimants to the discovery of natural selection: Edward Blyth, Patrick Matthew, Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin. Professor Dawkins will go on to identify the fifth bridge of evolutionary understanding as modern genetics – which he terms ‘digital Darwinism’.
Following Professor Dawkins’ lecture, a questions and answer session will be held with a panel of experts on Darwin, hosted by Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Ecology at The Open University and editor of the book 99% Ape. The panel includes Jim Moore, Professor of the History of Science at The Open University and co-author of the book Darwin’s Sacred Cause; Dr Peter Skelton, Reader in Palaeobiology at The Open University and a contributing author to the book 99% Ape and Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London and author of the book Darwin’s Island: the Galapagos in the Garden of England.
Questions for the panel will be taken from the invited guests but can also be submitted in advance of the event. If you have a question to put to Professor Dawkins and the expert panel, please go to www.open2.net/dawkins (questions can be submitted as of 5 March).
The lecture will become available for general viewing in a series of videos which will be available from early July 2009 at www.open2.net/dawkins. The Annual Lecture is being held in partnership with Darwin200 and is co-hosted by the Natural History Museum.
About Professor Richard Dawkins