What is the reason for the sparks and brief glints of light which are seen in Long Island Sound? What caused the ocean to glow, as Christopher Columbus documented in 1492, just before his historic landfall in the Americas? How did they originate? What purpose did they serve? Answers to these and other questions will be revealed by Dr. Mark Siddall, speaking on “Nocturnal Emissions: Bioluminescence as a Survival Strategy” at the 11th annual Darwin Day Dinner, being held Saturday evening February 16 at the Italian Center in Stamford. The invitation and information may be found at darwindayct.org
The annual Southern Connecticut Darwin Day Dinner has grown in attendance since its initial 2009 debut, occasioning the need for ever grander banquet halls. The event includes a cocktail hour at 6:00 PM, dinner at 7:00 PM, science quiz (with prizes!), and renowned speaker.
Each year the planners select a speaker who is both a recognized expert and lecturer who can translate the latest knowledge into terms a layman can readily understand. Dr. Mark Siddall is Curator, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History. Self-styled “Curator of Wormy-slimy Stuff”, his research focusses on evolutionary biology of charismatic microfauna from microbes to leeches. Mark recently led expeditions to South Sudan, Cambodia and the Lower Amazon.
DARWIN DAY is an international celebration of science and humanity held around Charles Darwin’s February 12th birthday. It celebrates the discoveries and life of the man, and expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.
The event is sponsored by the Bartlett Arboretum, Earthplace, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, the Norwalk Public Schools Science Department, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Wilton Quaker Meeting, the Unitarian Church in Westport, and the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC). The cost is $69 per person, discounted to $64 if received by February 6. Cocktail hour starts at 6:00 pm.
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