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Salem State Announces Speakers for 43rd Annual Darwin Festival

January 26, 2022

Salem State University’s annual festival in celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday will be held virtually February 7 through 11, 2022 with a week of lectures. In its 43rd year, The Darwin Festival is a community-oriented event for scientists and non-scientists alike. 

This year’s festival will feature two webinars a day, one at 11 am and one at 2 pm. In addition, there will be talks at 7 pm on Wednesday and Thursday of the festival week. Topics include: the impact of microaggressions and racism on health; bioindicators of climate change in New England waters; the role of restoration in preserving plant biodiversity; using science to guide public schools’ pandemic response; and investigating FDA-approved anti-tumor drugs; among others. Registration is required and is free. Visit for more information, a full list of topics, and webinar registration links.   

“The Darwin Festival’s mission is to demonstrate the role of science, and in particular biology, in our daily lives through discussions that appeal to both those in the field and those who are simply curious about the world around us,” said festival coordinator Ryan Fisher, a professor of biology at Salem State. “In our second year going virtual, we are again able to draw on a wide range of expertise from across the country and even the world.”

The Darwin Festival was founded in 1980 by Virginia F. Keville and Philip A. DePalma as part of the course “Human and Social Biology,” a biology course for non-science majors. The event was a way to celebrate the impact of Charles Darwin’s work while providing students with an opportunity to connect humanity and culture with scientific research. The festival has since evolved into a community-wide event that draws students, scholars, and curious minds from around the region.  

The 2022 Darwin Festival is organized by Salem State University’s department of biology with support from the Charles Albert Read Trust Fund, the Keville-DePalma Darwin Festival Endowment Fund, ThermoFisher Scientific, the Student Government Association through the Biological Society and the Scuba Club, Salem State University administration, contributions from Academx, and other individual supporters.   

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