February 12th marks the 206th birthday of Charles Darwin, and is celebrated internationally to highlight Darwin’s contributions to science. To celebrate Darwin Day, the Biology department invited Dr. William R. Duryea, Emeritus Professor of Biology, to speak about the “Shrewsbury Genius”.
Dr. Duryea came to Saint Francis in 1966 and was involved in developing the Biology program. As an Ecologist and inspired by Charles Darwin, Dr. Duryea liked the idea of having a “field” for discovery right on campus for his students to have hands-on experiences learning biology. He began Environmental Studies courses, expanded the Ecology curriculum and began to bolster our sense of who we are and where we belong within the science community.
Dr. Duryea spoke about Darwin’s five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle where Darwin observed, collected specimens and wrote about everything he witnessed in nature. Darwin has been credited with “the single best idea, ever,” the unifying principle of biological sciences, evolution. On Darwin Day each year, we seek to defend and celebrate the right to teach and learn about the ideas in “Darwinism”. The Biology 402/Evolution Class hosted the event celebrating Darwin’s birthday complete with serving birthday cake.