Celebration of Darwin -  November 4, 2009 - The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center -  Blacksburg, Virginia
General Information

November 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's extraordinary book, On the Origin of Species. To celebrate that anniversary and the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth, Virginia Tech is hosting an academic conference focused on Darwin and the Origin. The conference will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg.

Morning session: The morning session features three keynote speakers, each internationally renowned Darwin scholars:

  • Robert Richards from the University of Chicago
  • Frank Sulloway with the University of California, Berkeley
  • Philip Kitcher of Columbia University

They will consider, respectively, historical issues bearing on the proper interpretation of the Origin, current scientific topics that arise from the Origin, and conceptual and social issues raised by the Origin and modern Darwinism.

Afternoon session: The afternoon consists of three concurrent sessions of submitted presentations, each aligned with a theme addressed by the keynote speakers. The afternoon will reflect a broad range of academic insights into Darwin and the Origin, with speakers from as far as Europe and as close as Virginia Tech.

Evening activities: The program concludes with an evening reception followed by an original performance of Living Darwin created and produced by Virginia Tech's Theatre Workshop in Science and Technology Studies (TWISTS).

Darwin's Office

The essence of this conference, indeed a celebration of Darwin, is best captured in his own words:

"...whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.."
On the Origin of Species
(First edition, 1859)

More Information

For more information about content of the conference, please contact:
Ron Lewis, Committee Chair, Virginia Tech, Animal and Poultry Sciences Department, Email: rmlewis@vt.edu

For questions about registration, lodging, travel, and other conference logistics, contact:
Dinah Girma, Conference Registrar, Continuing and Professional Education, Phone: 540-231-2559, Email: Dinah@vt.edu

Continuing & Professional Education @ Virginia Tech