Résumé: Charles Darwin is an iconic figure typically portrayed as a staid Victorian; a lone genius, melancholy, serious, even tormented. In this talk I explore the Darwin behind the portraiture and myth — the husband, father, and friend; the crowd-sourcer and scientist of boyish enthusiasms and impish impulses; above all the inveterate "experimentiser." Darwin was a life-long experimenter, devising simple yet ingenious experiments on myriad topics — orchids and sundews, barnacles and vines, bees' cells and pollination, earthworms and seed dispersal, and more. Yet it was all of a piece. Engaging his children, friends, and neighbors as assistants, and encouraging fellow naturalists to follow his lead, Darwin's ingenious experiments yielded universal truths about nature, and ammunition for his revolutionary arguments in On the Origin of Species and other watershed works. Darwin's working method holds lessons for us today as well: following his lead, we can recreate his experiments in home and school, inspiring a new generation to think like a scientist.
Contact: Mathieu LIHOREAU, EXPLAIN team, CRCA