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Scientists’ Next Big Discoveries Predicted in Online Report on the 150th Anniversary of "On The Origin of Species"


On Nov. 24, 2009, Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” will be 150 years old, but the National Science Foundation is already commemorating the event with an online report released today on the author’s 200th birthday.

The report, “Evolution of Evolution: 150 Years of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species,” asks a basic question: How did “Origin” influence science and society during the last 150 years? An international team of evolution experts take up the question and their answers lead intellectually curious web surfers on a wide ranging journey through “Origin’s” impacts on Anthropology, Biology, Geosciences, Polar Sciences and even Astronomy. There’s also a section dedicated to the author himself in the report.

One of the more intriguing questions answered by the scientists had to do with what they saw as the next big scientific discovery, eliciting such predictions as discovering life on other planets and discovering the Antarctic ice sheet is alive. The query was one of many posed in a series of online videos that examine Darwin’s impacts on science’s understanding of human evolution, global climate change, the origin of life and other questions.

Twelve researchers from the United States and London appear in the special report, each having written accompanying essays that look at “Origin’s” impacts on scientific discovery. The researchers are:

* David Devorkin
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
* Richard Lenski
Michigan State University
* Ross MacPhee
American Museum of Natural History
* Ron Numbers
University of Wisconsin-Madison
* Massimo Pigliucci
Stony Brook University
* John Priscu
Montana State University
* Marsha Richmond
Wayne State University
* Jim Secord
University of Cambridge
* Lynn Soreghan
University of Oklahoma
* Judy Totman Parrish
University of Idaho
* Ken Weiss
Penn State University
* Tim White
University of California, Berkeley

The beautifully illustrated report also features a substantial timeline of scientific discoveries that pays special attention to events involving evolution spanning the decades from Nicolaus Copernicus’s first scientific treatise supporting the idea that the sun is at the center of the Solar System in 1543 to the faster sequencing of genomes in 2007.

Evolution of Evolution is ideal information for reporters, general readers, and students of all ages, who have even a passing interest in the impact of “On the Origin of Species” on science and society. The report is posted at:

Related Websites
Evolution of Evolution: 150 Years of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $6.06 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.


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