UCD Earth Week – Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider: What the names of species tell us about science and scientists
Each April over the past couple of years, UCD Earth Institute run a series of events and activities to coincide with Earth Day on 22 April. We’ve run talks, walks, workshops, poster competitions and table quizzes, with the aim of bringing people together and celebrating the environmental research being carried out in UCD and beyond. Though COVID19 has intervened and our community is currently dispersed, we’ve managed to put together a diverse programme of activities for this spring and I’m very grateful to the wide range of colleagues from across the Institute and beyond are generously giving up their time to contribute.
On Friday 24 April, we’re joined live from Canada by Stephen Heard from the University of New Brunswick who will be talking about his new book on the fascinating history of species named after people, from Linnaeus naming a small and unpleasant weed to insult a rival botanist to more recent scientific names based on pop-culture icons—such as David Bowie’s spider, Frank Zappa’s jellyfish, and Beyoncé’s horsefly. Introduced and hosted by Rainer Melzer (Biology and Environmental Science), we’ll be live on Zoom from 3pm.