Monday, 14 December 2009

Winter for the Tree of Life…

Sadly, the time has come to suspend the Tree of Life blog. As noted last week, the end of 2009 brings to an end a year of Darwin200 celebrations and our blog along with it.

We’ve had the pleasure of launching some wonderful projects in that time. It all kicked off in February with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. This saw the airing of that wonderful BBC documentary (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) ‘Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life’ presented by Sir David Attenborough (if by any chance you have been living in a cave, click here to see the animation at the heart of it).

The documentary attracted some six and a half million viewers and the animation has been viewed over 150,000 times on YouTube. It has also been featured at museums and events around the world, including the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, the Boston Museum of Science, London Zoo, the Natural History Museum in London, the Darwin Evolution and the Movies festival in London, as well as educational establishments in India and South Africa.

‘Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life’ also won Best Science Documentary at the 2009 Gierson British Documentary Awards and the animation was nominated for Best Graphic Design - Programme Content Sequences at the 2009 Royal Television Society Craft and Design Awards.

But the end of Darwin year does not mean an end to our Darwin activities! 2010 will see some exciting new projects come to fruition.

The Wellcome Trust will be launching a competition to win a trip to the Galapagos islands, allowing a lucky winner to follow in the footsteps of Darwin himself. Further details on this are coming soon so keep an eye on the Trust’s website or follow @wellcometrust on Twitter.

And if you haven’t had enough of the Tree of Life by now (and who hasn’t?), you’ll soon be able to experience it from the inside. The animation is being adapted into an interactive ‘augmented reality’ attraction, the ‘iFilm’, coming soon to the Natural History Museum’s Darwin Centre from early 2010.

The Tree of Life animation/interactive itself is, of course, still available to download and remix from this very website. Do contact us at darwin200@wellcome.ac.uk if you would like to use it in any other way.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog. As Darwin himself once said:

"doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue"

I hope we’ve achieved that at least a bit. Until the next Darwin anniversary…..

2 comments:

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