CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The eighth annual Darwin Week will be held on the University of Northern Iowa campus Monday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 11. The event is hosted by University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers (UNI), a student organization for skeptics, atheists, agnostics and freethinkers. The group is dedicated to community, intellectual engagement, activism and service.
Darwin Week is entirely organized by students and focuses on different aspects of life, science, nature and culture. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature different speakers throughout the week, centering around the themes of Science, Skepticism, and Religion. In addition to daily lectures from UNI faculty members, keynote lectures will be held each night at 7 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Education in Maucker Union.
This year’s keynote speakers are as follows:
- Dr. Rebecca Goldstein, an American philosopher, novelist and public intellectual, will serve as the keynote lecturer on Monday, Feb. 8.
- Steve O’Kane, professor of biology, and Jerome Soneson, professor of philosophy and head of the philosophy department, will deliver a combined presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
- Robert Wallace from the University of Iowa will deliver a lecture on the topic of epidemiology on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
- Michael Shermer, an American science writer, science historian, founder of The Skeptics Society and editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine, will speak about skepticism on Thursday, Feb. 11.
“Darwin Week is a great way to learn about a variety of specialized topics from experts in the field,” said Jesse Moeller, Director of Public Relations and co-organizer of Darwin Week. “This event is a wonderful contribution to the intellectual dialogue on campus. It’s a way to help people think critically and appreciate knowledge. The open door speaking format of Darwin Week invites people to learn about the world around us, a very valuable contribution that isn’t always executed in classes on a college campus.”
Darwin Week was first created to commemorate the work of Charles Darwin and his notable contributions to the field of science, but has since expanded to include different aspects, such as diversity and sexuality.