Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome to 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 is a year to celebrate two key anniversaries in science history - Charles Darwin's birthday (200th) and the publication of his groundbreaking and meticulous On the Origin of Species (150th).

A major event in history with probably the most influential scientist ever, it would be a shame if our government and schools failed to take the opportunity to celebrate and educate, particularly at a time when science is under attack from the religious fundamentalism of creationist myths and paranoia of climate change denialism.

Science education also seems worryingly at risk from a generation of teachers who have a flexible approach to creation myths. Hopefully the polls overrate the problem.

A recognition of Darwin and his achievements and science in general would go a long way to challenge ignorance, and celebrate, not flying a painted piece of cloth or a mythical saint, but a real person who has provided such a valuable addition to our rich heritage that the British can be proud of.

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