Each year, Director William (Ned) Friedman and the Arnold Arboretum present the Director’s Lecture Series, featuring nationally recognized experts addressing an array of topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science. Lectures take place in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall. Parking will be available in front of the building and along the Arborway. Free. Member-only registration through December 15; general registration after December 15.
Ned Friedman, PhD, Director of the Arnold Arboretum and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University will present the first talk on Monday, January 12, from 7 – 8:30. Although often overlooked as such, many of the horticultural varieties that we grow in gardens are premier examples of the ongoing process of evolution: random mutations that lead, on the rarest of occasions, to novel and desirable biological characteristics. Throughout his life, Charles Darwin (as well as other nineteenth century evolutionists) looked to the world of horticulture and plant domestication to gain critical insights into the generation of variation and the process of natural selection that underlie evolutionary change. Come see how horticulture played a central role in laying the foundations for discovering evidence of evolution as well as the process of evolution. Professor Ned Friedman will also argue that modern botanical gardens can and should become a leading force for the promotion of evolutionary thinking by highlighting the very kinds of mutations observed and described by Darwin as well as new examples of monstrosities and mutants that continue to be found in the Arboretum and other living collections around the world. Image from www.thunderboltkids.co.za.
Register online at http://my.arboretum.harvard.edu/Info.aspx?EventID=1.