Charles Darwin (1809-1882)


Christ's College is where the famous biologist and naturalist and father of evolutionary biology, studied.  He was a young, innovative and enthusiastic student, destined initially for a life in Holy Orders.  From Cambridge he embarked on a ground-breaking journey of discovery on HMS Beagle and fifty years after his birth, his seminal work The Origin of the Species was published.

In Christ's in 2009, we celebrated our unique experience of Darwin the student with the public opening of his student rooms (from February 2009) and an unveiling of a specially commissioned bronze sculpture of Darwin as a young man contemplating the origin of our existence.

On this page you will find links to events that took place in Christ's College celebrating the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth in 2009.

Lectures, articles and web sites for the Darwin Celebrations held in 2009:

Lady Margaret Lectures:
- Professor Marsha Richmond on 11/3/09, 'Darwin & Genetics, 1859-1909'
 Professor Richard Fortey on 22/4/09, 'The Scientist as Hero' 

- Professor David Sedley on 6/5/09, 'Socrates vs Darwin'  transcript  / audio 

Charles Darwin and Evolution: an exciting resource for all ages concerning the work and legacy of Darwin's discovery and its implications for the world, science and religion.

Three articles by Dr David Norman et al  and an overview on Cambridge Research Horizons:
       In Darwin's footsteps: the geology of the Galapagos
       Commemorating Darwin
       Spotlight on Darwin
       Into the field again: re-examining Darwin's 1835 geological work on Isla Santiago

Darwin and Christ's College by John van Wyhe, Bye-Fellow, Christ's College.

Darwin in Cambridge, by John van Wyhe, (commemorative booklet, published by Christ's College)

The complete work of Charles Darwin online

Links to "Research Horizons" articles by Dr David Norman: Article One, Article Two

Darwin's College room at Christ's

Darwin Garden

Darwin sculpture by Anthony Smith

Darwin manuscript discovered at Christ's College after a century of darkness

Dr John van Wyhe talks to Sara Varey on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about Darwin's restored rooms in Christ's College.

Darwin's birthday: images from the celebrations on 12th February 2009.

Darwin openings: images from Christ's College, 20th February 2009.

Image of the Darwin Bust within the portico at Christ's

Darwin Celebratory Dinner (12th February 2009)

Darwin film/article competition for 6th Form and Undergraduate students in Cambridgeshire, sponsored by The Foundation for Genomics and Population Health


Events outside Christ's College

BBC Cambridgeshire Gallery: Charles Darwin's rooms  

Darwin: In Our Time (Melvin Bragg's Radio 4 series with strong contributions from members of Christ's)

The BBC Darwin Season



Charles Darwin was a British naturalist and most famous as the father of evolutionary biology and originator of the theory of natural selection. As naturalist for 5 years aboard the ship HMS Beagle, during its voyage around the world, Darwin gained the experience that led to his epoch-making book On the Origin of Species (1859). This was followed by The Descent of Man (1871) which argued that humans and apes shared a common ancestor - a revolutionary theory for its time. Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey. Darwin was admitted to Christ's College on 15th October 1827 , gaining his BA in 1831, his MA in 1836 and an honorary doctorate in 1877.