Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour – Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle

March 25th, 2010

Recently, on Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour, I spoke with Karen James of the Natural History Museum in London, UK. She’s a biologist working on several interesting and interrelated projects.

First, at the Natural History Museum, she works as a botanist and has been involved in an international effort to develop a genetic bar-coding process for plants. She is also responsible for their Darwin research memorabilia… i.e. specimens that Darwin collected while traveling to the Galapagos and back, like the Floreana mockingbirds, which were massively important in the development of Darwin’s great idea.

Additionally, she is the science director for the Beagle Project, whose aim is to build a replica of the HMS Beagle and sail it as a research vessel to the Galapagos.

You can hear all about it here. Or, watch it here…

The world is lucky to have such vibrant scientists as Dr. James.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

February 15th, 2008

And, mine is certainly now in San Francisco. The past month has brought some incredible changes to my life, and I am now looking (only somewhat fearfully) at the upcoming year with excitement. I am commuting once a week to Davis, CA for TWIS. We’ll see how long I’ll be up to the commute, but I promise that TWIS will persist regardless. Food Science is on hold for the time being. Hopefully, we’ll be bringing new episodes to you sooner rather than later. And, I’m working on a new project with Revision3, which will launch in late February. Stay tuned for lots of science fun!

In the meantime, this past week included two important days: Valentine’s Day and Darwin’s birthday. While I saw people running around with flowers, cards, and candy for the former, the latter heralded hardly a peep outside the science community. It’s quite a shame I think that a vaguely known Saint is so celebrated, but Darwin remains in the sidelines aside for the occasional attacks by religious fundamentalists.

Many scientific hypotheses come and go, but Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection has weathered the tests of time. It remains a solid, well-tested mechanism comprising one of the fundamental processes of the Theory of Evolution. Darwin’s influence on the entire field of evolutionary thought cannot be discounted, and is possibly as important as that of Einstein on the field of physics. Yet, where is the love? Here’s a song produced by a friend of mine, which I think does a great job of covering the issue. Expect to hear it on the 2008 TWIS compilation cd!