US Professor visits Shrewsbury as part of Darwin Celebrations

US Professor visits Shrewsbury as part of Darwin Celebrations

Shrewsbury welcomed American Professor, Bill Durham from Stanford University in California to the town last week.

The visit took place as part of a re-stepped Beagle voyage, which saw Professor Durham visit the places associated with Charles Darwin as he re-traced the steps that the towns most famous son took.

Professor Durham is a professor of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University with his main research interests involving ecology and evolution.

As part of his visit to Shrewsbury, Professor Durham met Jon King from Destination Shrewsbury and Peter Boyd from the Shrewsbury Museums Service who are promoting the new Darwin exhibition which went on show at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on 2nd February.

Professor Durham joins a long list of academics who have visited, or will be visiting Shrewsbury as part of the towns Darwin celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Others include Dr Johannes Vogel from the Natural History Museum who gave a talk on 'Exploring our Green Planet' and Dr Michael Shermer from California who will be presenting his lecture on 'Charles Darwin and Adam Smith: Evolution in Economics'.

Commenting, Peter Boyd, from Shrewsbury Museums Service said, 'Professor Durham is a well respected Professor of Anthropological Sciences and expert on Darwin's work who I first met when I lectured about the Darwins in Shrewsbury at Stanford University last year. Naturally, he was keen to visit Shrewsbury as part of the re-tracing of the steps taken by Darwin in his voyage on the Beagle because Charles left from the town in 1831 and returned to Shrewsbury in 1836.'

Professor Durham's visit included a private tour of Darwin's birthplace at The Mount and enabled him to experience new Darwin exhibitions at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. One of these highlights is the Darwin family in Shrewsbury and some of Charles's naturalist contemporaries in the County. The second exhibition has been designed by two young graduate curators who will introduce aspects of the legacy of Shrewsbury's famous son and include the work of contemporary artists.

Date Posted: 6th February 2009

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