Darwin in the Air

You’ll begin to notice a lot of discussion of Charles Darwin soon. Why? It is his 200th anniversary, and also 150 years since his Origin of Species was published, and so many people and organizations will be celebrating those landmarks. I did a couple of posts last year on Darwin that are worth a look, one about Darwin’s presentation of the evolution idea to the Linnean Society (150th anniversary of that last year) and the other about the wonderful Darwin Online project. See here and here.

Earlier this week I noticed that BBC Radio 4’s excellent series In Our Time (which I’ve mentioned a number of times here and will again) did a four part special documentary on Darwin. I’ve not listened to it yet, but I’ve a feeling it’ll be good. (I’ll be dropping all four parts onto my phone for listening to in those idle moments on some travel I’m about to embark upon.)

Snipping some of the synopses:

Episode 1, On the Origins of Charles Darwin, charts Darwin’s unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest.

Part 2 of 4 charts Darwin’s round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back.

Part 3 looks at the publication of Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred.

Part 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab.

The four of them are in mp3 files here. The BBC site has a habit of removing great stuff after a week or so, and so I strongly recommend that you download soon, and find the time to listen later.



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One Response to Darwin in the Air

  1. The programs are very good, well up to Melvyn Bragg’s usual high standards.