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Free Dawkins DVD for all secondary schools to celebrate Darwin 200

Every school in England and Wales is to receive a free DVD of ‘Growing Up in the Universe’, Professor Richard Dawkins’ 1991 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for children. The DVD is being distributed by the British Humanist Association with funding from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’, which both fall in 2009.

Professor Richard Dawkins, BHA Vice President, said, ‘Increasing young people’s understanding of science has never been more important. The lectures explore a number of themes and tasks young people to think critically about the world around them and to explore the awe and wonder that the magnificence and complexity of the natural world, which has evolved over billions of years, can arouse.’

Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education, said, ‘This DVD is ideal for supporting young people’s learning in Science across a range of topics, including evolution and the scientific method. They could also be used in General Studies lessons exploring wider themes such as the differences between science and religion, or in Art, where clips from the lectures can be used as starter activities for students to go on to ‘design’ their own animals or plants, or in English with creative writing from the perspective of an evolutionally successful animal or a visitor to an alien world where life has evolved differently from on earth.’

‘We know that some teachers already use these lectures as end-of-term videos, and are confident that their versatility and breadth of topics covered will allow teachers across many subject areas  to make the best use of this important resource in their own ways.’

To accompany the DVDs, three lesson plans, ‘What is Science for?’, ‘Isn’t Evolution Improbable?’ and ‘Design your own Organisms!’ have been developed for the free use of teachers. These lesson plans, with worksheets and online clips from the DVD are at www.humanistgrid.net/guu

Notes

For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson at andrew@humanism.org.uk or on 020 7079 3584 or 07534 248596

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is a member of Darwin 200 – the network celebrating 2009 as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’. The distribution of the DVDs is just one of the BHA’s contributions to celebrating these important anniversaries.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science is a charitable foundation registered in the UK and the USA. In the UK its objects are the promotion of rationalism, humanism and science.
www.richarddawkinsfoundation.org

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