It's time to dust off your Darwin costume again: Darwin Day 2023 is just around the corner! Despite the pandemic, a handful of colleges and universities, schools, libraries, museums, churches, civic groups, and just plain folks across the country — and the world — are preparing to celebrate Darwin Day, on or around February 12, in honor of the life and work of Charles Darwin. These events provide a marvelous opportunity not only to celebrate Darwin's birthday but also to engage in public outreach about science, evolution, and the importance of evolution education. NCSE encourages its members and friends to attend, participate in, and even organize Darwin Day events in their own communities. To find a local event, check the websites of local universities and museums as well as the Darwin Day Celebration registry administered by NCSE. For its part, NCSE, with the National Association of Biology Teachers and Larisa DeSantis, will be reprising the popular "Chewing on Change" evolution symposium online at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on February 9. And of course NCSE will be active on social media in support of evolution education — look for (and use) the hashtag #whyteachevolution on Darwin Day, and check out our #whyteachevolution essays.
And with Darwin Day comes the return of Evolution Weekend, recently redubbed Religion and Science Weekend! Dozens of congregations across the country and around the world are taking part in the event, February 10-12, 2023, by presenting sermons and discussion groups on the compatibility of faith and science and the year's theme "Mystery, Awe, and Wonder in Religion and Science." Michael Zimmerman, the initiator of the project, writes, "[Religion and Science] Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. One important goal is to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic — to move beyond sound bites. A second critical goal is to demonstrate that religious people from many faiths and locations understand that evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith. Finally, as with The Clergy Letter itself, [Religion and Science] Weekend makes it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy." At last count, 141 congregations in 35 states (and four foreign countries) were scheduled to hold Religion and Science Weekend events.