Thanks to the hard work of our friends at the American Humanist Association, Connecticut Senator Blumenthal and Connecticut Congressman Himes have sponsored resolutions in the House and Senate calling for the recognition of February 12th as Darwin Day again this year. In addition, the Secular Coalition for Connecticut met with Connecticut Governor Malloy this past May where he promised to issue a statewide proclamation for Darwin Day this year. Darwin Day is an annual event celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12 to inspire people throughout the world to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and the hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. There will also be multiple celebrations around the state on February 10th in honor of Darwin Day.
A group of CT CoR members from the Connecticut Valley Atheists and the Hartford Area Humanists have been working with the Connecticut Science Center to host an event in the northern part of the state to complement the Southern Connecticut Darwin Day dinner in the southern part of the state now in its 10th year.
The Connecticut Science Center event will be held on Saturday February 10th between the hours of 11:00am and 2:00pm but some events may run longer. Admission to the Science Center for the event is the standard admission price (see their website for details). The event will consist of a number of activities:
- Professor Kenneth Noll of UConn will be on hand to present on the topic “What is a Species?” Professor Noll is also a Darwin impersonator and will be on hand all day to take selfies with attendees and answer questions.
- The Art Truck will also be on hand to help youngsters make a tree of life craft or finch drawing or the like
- There will be a birthday cake for Darwin around noon and we’ll all sing “Happy Birthday.”
- The British nature documentary series, Galapagos 3D, will be the movie playing throughout the day in the theater.
- There will be rotating Darwin “fun facts” on the Jumbotron all day
- There will be ongoing mini-talks on animal adaptations in Science Alley
- There is a story time circle for toddlers where they will listen to a volunteer read from a children’s book on evolution
- Governor Malloy, Senator Blumenthal, and Congressman Himes have all been invited
Later that evening the 10th annual Southern Connecticut Darwin Day dinner kicks off at the Waters Edge at Giovanni’s with a cocktail hour at 6:00pm. The cost this year is only $64 per person ($69 if you respond after February 3rd). After the cocktail hour, attendees will enjoy a full sit down dinner, cash bar, a science quiz (with fabulous prizes!), a presentation by Yale University lecturer and post-doctoral associate Mark Sheskin on “What, if anything, makes humans unique?”, and, if last year is any indication, brief talks by Senator Blumenthal and Representative Himes.
Also each year the Southern CT Darwin Day Dinner Committee invites local high school and junior college students who are passionate about science to join the celebration (and to help their tables with the Science Quiz!). Their attendance is paid for by attendees and committee benefactors so please consider making a donation of any amount to facilitate this effort when you purchase your tickets. Better: bring your own high school students!
All of Connecticut’s Darwin Day celebrations are open to the general public, so get your Geek on and attend one, or two, or all of them!