Skip to page content

Celebrating Darwin

On Thursday 12 February, we celebrated 200 years since Charles Darwin, one of the world's most creative and influential thinkers, was born.

Darwin200 is a national programme of events honouring his scientific ideas and their impact. Many celebrations are taking place during the next few months but will continue until 24 November 2009, the 150th anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On the Origin of Species.

For a full list of more than 300 activities across the UK throughout the year, visit our Events pages.

Highlighted below is a selection of celebrations you can take part in now.

Current Celebrations

Darwin Art Competition
Darwin Art Competition Closes 20 June

Last chance to win a prize with a Darwin inspired artwork by entering an art competition open to all children aged 16 and below in the UK.

Simple Beginnings: The Story of Evolution
Simple Beginnings 13 June – 7 November

An exhibition at Bolton Museum exploring Darwin’s life, work and his connections with Bolton.

Endless Forms
Endless Forms 16 June – 4 October

A major exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum looking at the impact of Darwin’s theories upon artists of the late nineteenth century.

Garden Detectives
Garden Detectives 26 June – 27 September

Visit a special summer holiday exhibition for families at the National Museum of Scotland based on the simple methods of observation at the heart of Darwin’s work.

After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions
After Darwin 26 June – 29 November

An exhibition of major artists and writers exhibiting newly-commissioned and existing work, inspired by Darwin's book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

Darwin Lecture Series
Darwin Lecture Series July – August

Every Wednesday evening during July and August Chelsea Physic Garden is hosting a Darwin themed talk and late opening.

A Duck for Mr Darwin
A Duck for Mr Darwin Until 20 September 2009

A group exhibition of contemporary artists exploring evolutionary thinking and the theory of natural selection at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

Darwin's College Rooms restored
Darwin's College Rooms Until 21 November 2009

Darwin's rooms at Christ's College, Cambridge have been restored to their original condition and are open to the public at selected times.

TREE by Tania Kovats
TREE by Tania Kovats

This new artwork at the Natural History Museum is a wafer-thin longitudinal section of an entire 200-year-old oak tree inspired by Darwin's tree of life sketch.

Creation the movie
Creation the movie

Due for release in 2009, this screen adaptation of Annie's Box by Randal Keynes promises a Darwin as you've never seen him before.

Darwin's birthplace virtual tour
Darwin's birthplace virtual tour

Take a virtual tour around Darwin's birthplace, The Mount in Shrewsbury.

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin
Happy Birthday Charles Darwin

Post your own birthday message to Darwin and see other messages from all over the globe.

Darwin Stamps
Darwin Stamps

On 12 February the Royal Mail issued ten new Darwin stamps to celebrate his life and work.

Mr Darwin’s Fishes
Mr Darwin’s Fishes Until July 2009

A new multimedia exhibition at the Bath Literary and Scientific Institution exploring the fishes collected on the Beagle voyage.

Darwin Photo Competition
Darwin Photo Competition

On 12 February the Grant Museum, Horniman Museum and Institute of Biology launched a photographic competition, Exploring and Investigating Nature.

Down House, Kent
Down House, Kent

Darwin’s home of 40 years has re-opened with new displays about his life and work , and a handheld multi-media tour of the house and garden.

Free school resources from Wellcome
Free school resources from Wellcome, March 2009

Every primary school will be sent a treasure chest to take part in the Great Plant Hunt and every secondary school can request a Survival Rivals experiment kit.

Darwin Festivals

Darwin and Beyond
Darwin and Beyond Throughout 2009

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution has launched a programme of more than 50 events during 2009 including exhibitions, talks and performances.

Darwin's Shrewsbury
Darwin's Shrewsbury Throughout 2009

An exciting programme of events to celebrate Darwin's bicentenary has already begun in Shrewsbury and will continue throughout 2009.

Darwin 2009 Festival
Darwin 2009 Festival 5–10 July 2009

Bookings are now open for the packed programme of talks, debates, exhibitions and performances held in Cambridge.

Books about Darwin

Darwin's Sacred Cause
Darwin's Sacred Cause 29 January 2009

This new book, by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, is a dramatic re-interpretation of the origins of Darwin's ideas, exploring how anti-slavery opinions shaped his views on human evolution.

99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up
99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up November 2008

A new book, edited by Jonathan Silvertown and with contributions from experts at the Open University, is set to reveal the latest evidence for evolution - and how it all adds up.


‘There is grandeur in this view of life... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.’ Charles Darwin