Eastern Washington University’s Biology Department will be hosting their ninth annual Darwin Day celebration Feb. 2-16. The evolutionary-themed celebration is a commemoration of Charles Darwin’s birthday. After several successful turn outs in the years prior, the department is aiming to expand the celebration.
“This year is a little different,” said Jenni Pfeifer-Probert, operations manager of the Biology Department. “We’re trying to incorporate a larger community into the celebration.”
Part of the expansion effort will include a collaboration with Beautiful Weapons, a dance group from Gonzaga University.
“Their production is a scientific presentation on biodiversity using the language of dance,” said Pfeifer-Probert. “It is a collaborative effort between their dance company and the Biology Department. Gonzaga does a Darwin Day event as well, so we’re encouraging students and community members to attend both.”
Other events throughout the week will include guest speaker Barrie Robison, PhD and professor of biological sciences from the University of Idaho, and an evolutionary-focused science cafe with the Inland Northwest Concerned Scientists. The science cafe is a monthly opportunity for scientists and the general public to have a discussion about a scientific topic.
“One goal we have as a department is to encourage more people to embrace the curiosity around scientific thinking and develop an understanding and appreciation for science in and outside of the science building,” said Pfeifer-Probert.
The department will also bring back their popular Darwinian-themed cake competition, which is open to anyone in the community to participate.
“There have been some pretty cool and clever cakes,” said Pfeifer-Probert. “It’s a fun time for us to get together as a department in a social setting. And there’s always plenty of cake.”
All of the Darwin Day festivities are open to the general public.
Complete schedule of events:
Friday, Feb. 2, 2018
- 4 p.m. "Beautiful Weapons and the Diversity of Life" with Gonzaga's Repertory Dance Company
EWU Music Building Recital Hall, Room 119, Cheney
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018
- 7 p.m. "Giant Sloths and Growing Grasslands: What Fossils Can Tell Us About the Past, Present, and Future"
Science Café with Gonzaga University Lecturer John Orcutt
Drinks and food available before the talk
Prohibition Gastropub, 1914 N. Monroe St., Spokane
Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
- 2-3 p.m. "Evolution Always Wins: Using Evolution to Make Video Games Better"
University of Idaho Professor Barrie Robison
EWU Science Building 137, Cheney
- 3:30 p.m. Annual Darwin Day Cake Contest
EWU Science Building 247, Cheney
(Darwinian-themed cakes must be dropped off at SCI 280 between 7:30-11 a.m.)