Shrewsbury School

The countdown is on to the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival

Thursday 4 February 2021

Next week sees the start of the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival, a celebration of Old Salopian and one of Shrewsbury’s most famous sons, Charles Darwin.

This year the Festival is an online event, taking place from Tuesday, February 9th to February 17th. There is a whole host of lectures, short films, quizzes and thought-provoking talks to enjoy that all focus on elements of Darwin’s work, as well as a special virtual toast on Friday, February 12th to celebrate what would have been the naturalist’s 212th birthday.

Once again Shrewsbury School is proud to be contributing to the organisation of the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival and to be one of its sponsors. From sourcing eminent speakers from this country and abroad, to including our own teaching staff in the line-up, the School has helped to shape the programme. 

The following lectures are those organised by Shrewsbury School staff, along with details of where you can book a place:

Darwin’s Finches

Book here:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Professors Peter and Rosemary Grant of Princeton University, USA have been studying Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos islands since 1973. Their research has been published in four books, most recently How and Why Species Multiply (2008).

A unique opportunity to ask genuine heavyweights in the field of Evolution questions about their research and the topic more widely; highly recommended.

Evolution Happening Before Our Eyes – How Viruses Evolve

Book here:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Dr. Daniel Goldhill holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University and now works in the UK jointly with Public Health England and Imperial College London. Having worked on influenza virus, in 2020 he has been part of the effort to understand SARS-CoV-2. Though he hasn’t been evolving the virus in the lab yet, he has been trying to understand what the changes to the virus make SARS-CoV-2 able to cause a pandemic.
No doubt of interest to all in the current national and international situation, this offers viewers a highly topical snapshot of evolution on a rapid timescale.

Life Beneath Our Feet

Book here:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Dr Simon Jeffery of Harper Adams University is a soil microbial ecologist. His main interests are in ecosystem function and how soil organisms drive processes and functions across a range of scales from local to global, and their importance for soil health and food security. Having given a simply excellent talk for Shrewsbury School students last term, we are delighted to have been able to incorporate Dr Jeffery into the DarwIN Festival line-up and would encourage anyone with an interest in biodiversity, ecology, conservation and sustainability to book this engaging and arresting talk.

The Evolution of Neuroimaging: From Brain Function to AI and Back Again

Book here:

Friday, February 12, 2021

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Dr Kathryn Broadhouse is a physicist specialising in studying the brain using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), who has recently taken up post at Shrewsbury School in the role of STEM Fellow. Her work has focused on translating cutting-edge imaging techniques to map and model mental health disorders and healthy ageing, with the aim of better understanding the healthy brain, how our brains differ in disease and how we can all stay mentally healthy.

This is a fantastic chance to ‘get to know’ the latest member of the School Science and Maths Departments, as well as gain exposure to cutting edge research in medical physics and brain evolution. Mental health is such an important topic of discussion; to read a student-friendly journal publication by Kathryn on MRI scanning, please click here.

Lectures not arranged by Shrewsbury include “Things That Go Bang in the Night” (with an astronomy theme), “Unnatural Selection: Evolution at the Hand of Man” and a selection of short Museums films.

For more information on the festival, visit



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