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News Jan 29, 2019 - 5:57:17 AM

Nocturnal emissions - topic at upcoming Darwin Day Dinner

By Darwin Day Dinner

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Secrets of luminescent sea and glowing marine animal, to be revealed by Dr. Siddall at Darwin Day Dinner. (contributed photo)
A fascinating presentation by a top scientist, with cocktail hour, dinner, and entertaining science quiz (with prizes!), will be held at the Darwin Day Dinner on Saturday evening, February 16, 2019, starting at 6 pm. “New to Darwin Day? Like (or love) Science? Interested in learning about evolutionary biology from an extraordinary researcher? Enjoy a great party? Then this event is for YOU, and you will LOVE IT!” reports Chair John Levin.

The annual Darwin Day Dinner has been growing in attendance each year, and like a hermit crab seeking a new and bigger shell, it is moving this year to the expansive main hall at the Italian Center in Stamford. The invitation and registration may be found at

What is the reason for the sparks and brief glints of light which are seen in Long Island Sound? What caused the ocean to glow, as Christopher Columbus documented in 1492, just before his historic landfall in the Americas? How did they originate? What purpose did they serve? Answers to these and other questions will be revealed by Dr. Mark Siddall, speaking on “Nocturnal Emissions: Bioluminescence as a Survival Strategy”.

Each year the planners select a speaker who is both a recognized expert and lecturer who can translate the latest knowledge into terms a layman can readily understand. Dr. Mark Siddall is Curator, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History. Self-styled “Curator of Wormy-slimy Stuff”, his research focusses on evolutionary biology of charismatic microfauna from microbes to leeches. Siddall recently led expeditions to South Sudan, Cambodia and the Lower Amazon.

DARWIN DAY is an international celebration of science and humanity held around Charles Darwin’s February 12th birthday. It celebrates the discoveries and life of the man, and expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

The event is sponsored by the Bartlett Arboretum, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Earthplace, the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC), the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Wilton Quaker Meeting, the Unitarian Church in Westport, and the Norwalk Public Schools Science Department,. The cost is $69 per person, discounted to $64 if received by Feb 6. Cocktail hour starts at 6 pm. Invitation and registration can be found at

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