2024 Iowa City Darwin Day

2024 Iowa City Darwin Day promotional image

Every year to mark Charles Darwin’s birthday, Iowa City Darwin Day organizes a two-day celebration of science designed to promote scientific literacy and increase public awareness of the contributions of science to society. The featured speakers for the 2024 events on April 12 and 13 are Joseph Graves Jr., Harmit Malik and Heather Sander. All talks are free and open to all. 

Joseph Graves Jr. is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Dr. Graves’ research focuses on the evolution of adaptation and evolutionary theories of aging. He has risen to international prominence as the author of two books that address myths of race in American society, The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend That Race Exists in America. Dr. Graves will give a seminar talk on Friday, April 12, called “Race, Health, and the Built Microbiome.” On Saturday, April 13, he will give a public talk based on his most recent book, "A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pioneering Biologist Discusses How Evolution Can Help Us Solve Some of Our Biggest Problems."

Harmit Malik is a member of the USA National Academy of Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator who is well known as a leader in evolutionary biology. His research focuses on genetic conflict and has direct implications for understanding human disease. Dr. Malik will give two talks, a seminar presentation titled “Rules of Engagement: Molecular Arms Races Between Primate and Viral Genomes" on Friday, April 12, and a talk for the public, “Paleovirology: Ghosts and Gifts of Ancient Viruses,” on Saturday, April 13.

Heather Sander is Associate Professor in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa. Her research combines field work, GIS, and ecological modeling to explore questions related to urban ecosystems. It is highly interdisciplinary, integrating the natural and social sciences to understand human-environment interactions with a particular focus on the utilization of spatial models and analysis techniques to better understand the relationships between urban human well-being, biodiversity, ecosystem structure and function, and land use. She will give a talk on Saturday called "Getting Wild In the Cities: Cities for Biodiversity and Human Well-Being."

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Deirdre Egan in advance at (319)335-0188 or deirdre-egan@uiowa.edu