Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: The Year of Science

2009 happens to be the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his On the Origin of Species). It's the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of the telescope for astronomy. It's the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Burgess Shale fossil beds.

In recognition of these (and other) science-related anniversaries falling this year, the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science has organized a year-long celebration of science. (COPUS was organized by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Geology Society of America, the University of California Museum of Paleontology, and the National Science Teachers Association. More than 400 other groups -- universities, museums, scientific societies, and the like -- participate.)

That leads us to 2009: The Year of Science. Each month YoS will celebrate a particular theme. January's theme, appropriately, is the process and nature of science itself. The YoS website is the hub of a great social network of participating organizations and events.

YoS is a worthy endeavor with noble goals: reminding us what science does for society and trying to rekindle popular interest in science. YoS officially kicks off today, in Boston, in coordination with the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Check it out.

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