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Charles Darwin - the man and the scientist: Track 8

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Charles Darwin is one of most famous scientists of the nineteenth century, but what was he like as a child, a father and a husband? How did his emotional response to the world affect his scientific theories? And how widespread is his influence today? This album looks at Darwin's rich and complex legacy. Ruth Padel, one of his direct descendants, offers a series of unique insights into Darwin the man, through recollections of childhood conversations with her grandmother, readings from family letters and her own cycle of biographical poems. Within the scientific world, Darwin remains an inspirational figure both for evolutionary biologists and for many other practitioners. The Nigerian scientist, Sheila Ochugboju, reveals how influential Darwin has been on her own career, and Professor Colin Pillinger of The Open University compares the voyage of the Beagle with his recent mission to Mars. The album concludes with a visit to the Grant Museum of comparative biology at UCL in London, which is dedicated to Robert Edmond Grant, a professor of biology who was an important early influence on Darwin.

The tracks on this album were produced by The Open University in collaboration with the British Council. They form part of Darwin Now, a global initiative celebrating the life and work of Charles Darwin and the impact his ideas about evolution continue to have on today’s world. © The British Council 2009.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

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Track 8: Darwin's professor

An introduction to a museum of comparative biology at UCL in London, named after Darwin's biology professor Robert Grant.


© The Open University 2009


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Charles Darwin - the man and the scientist    A brief introduction to this album. Play now Charles Darwin - the man and the scientist
2 Darwin's great great granddaughter    The poet Ruth Padel talks about her great great grandfather, Charles Darwin, and how she has responded to his life and work in her poetry. Play now Darwin's great great granddaughter
3 Darwin's childhood    Ruth Padel and Sheila Ochugboju reflect on Darwin's childhood, and Ruth reads her poems "The Chapel School", The year my mother died", "The miser". Play now Darwin's childhood
4 Darwin's marriage    Ruth Padel discusses the relationship between Darwin and his wife Emma and how her religiosity sometimes conflicted with his scientific beliefs.She reads her poems "The Open Window", "He Leaves a Message on the Edge" and "`He ignores his father's advice". Play now Darwin's marriage
5 Darwin's humanity    Ruth Padel muses on Darwin's experiences in Edinburgh and Brazil, and reads the poems that she was inspired to write: "Haunted", "He hangs out with a taxidermist", "A quarrel in Bahia Harbour". Play now Darwin's humanity
6 Out of Africa    The Aftrican scientist Sheila Ochugboju reveals the vital importance of Charles Darwin to her own work. In the last century his ideas have been appropriated by a variety of different people for sometimes very different ends; today in Africa he is an inspiration for a new generation of young scientists. Play now Out of Africa
7 A Tale of Two Beagles    Professor Colin Pillinger of the OU, compares his daring mission to Mars with Beagle II with Charles Darwin's epochal voyage to the Galapagos in the orginal Beagle. He discusses the parallels between the two expeditions, comparing both their scientific approach and their equipment. Play now A Tale of Two Beagles
8 Darwin's professor    An introduction to a museum of comparative biology at UCL in London, named after Darwin's biology professor Robert Grant. Play now Darwin's professor

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