Celebrate both the Dahlonega Literary Festival and the Dahlonega Science Festival with a Gala Dinner featuring a guest performance by “Professor Boggs,” who will entertain us with fun science songs, and Professor Jim Costa, author of Darwin’s Backyard, a New York Times‘ bestseller, who will give the evening’s Keynote Speech. The dinner will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Dahlonega Marketplace (100 Public Square North, Dahlonega, Ga.). Dinner is catered by Shenanigan’s Irish Pub and includes choice of entrees, sides, and dessert. A cash bar will be available. Tickets purchased online will cost $35.00/person. Tickets at the door will cost $37.00/person (as long as seats are available).  Deadline to purchase tickets online is Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 10:00pm. Dress for this event is “Casual.”  To purchase tickets online, click here.


Here is a brief biography of Professor Costa followed by a brief description of his Keynote Presentation:


Jim Costa is executive director of the Highlands Biological Station and professor of biology at Western Carolina University, where he teaches courses on biogeography, evolution, and Darwin. He is a long-time Research Associate in Entomology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, and a former fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Jim lectures widely in the US and abroad, and is currently serving as a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer and a trustee of the Charles Darwin Trust. The author of numerous papers and the books Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species; On the Organic Law of Change; and The Annotated Origin (all Harvard University Press), Jim was awarded the silver Wallace Medal from the London-based Alfred Russel Wallace Memorial Fund in 2017 for his contributions to Wallace scholarship. His latest book, Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory (W. W. Norton)was a finalist for the 2018 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Jim lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with his wife Leslie and sons Addison and Eli.


(R)evolutionary War: Darwin’s Origin and Descent: Scientific & Literary Influence

Charles Darwin was infamously silent on the subject of people in his watershed book On the Origin of Species, cryptically concluding only that “Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” No one was fooled, and much of the ensuring firestorm of controversy over the book centered on its implications for humans and society. When others undertook works exploring human evolution, Darwin could remain silent no longer, and a dozen years after the Origin‘s publication he produced The Descent of Man, articulating his own vision for human origins. No less groundbreaking, or controversial, Descent is Darwin’s second-greatest work after the Origin. Together they launched a new era in understanding the nature of the biological world and our place in it, inspiring new avenues of scientific research while influencing a range of philosophical, artistic, and literary explorations of their implications.



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