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January 20, 2009

Cambridge University Sheds Light on Darwin

darwintree90.jpgThe University of Cambridge rang in its 800th anniversary with church bells and a light show on Saturday the 17th. The light show, created by projection artist Ross Ashton, included specially commissioned illustrations of Cambridge alumni Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton by Roald Dahl's illustrator, Quentin Blake. Above, a graying Darwin ponders the tree of life, whose branches recapitulate the origins of the species. Other images evoked the scientific, musical, and debaucherous achievements of 800 years of Cambridge students and alumni. 

—Lucas Laursen (additional pictures after the break)

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The University of Cambridge's founding was reportedly the result of a hasty departure from Oxford's "hostile townsmen," and the projected image below depicts this hostility.

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 A young Charles Darwin rides a beetle in pursuit of a butterfly. Darwin later wrote that "no pursuit at Cambridge was followed with nearly so much eagerness or gave me so much pleasure as collecting beetles."  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cambridge spectators jostled for space near the Senate House to see psychedelic images inspired by biology. 

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An aged Darwin reads a book astride a Gal├ípagos tortoise.

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