Issue 1
Monday, 02 March 2020
Charles Darwin University
Charles Darwin Scholar Professor David Haig
Charles Darwin Scholar Professor David Haig

Harvard evolutionist named Charles Darwin Scholar

By Patrick Nelson

A Harvard University Professor of Biology is Charles Darwin University’s Charles Darwin Scholar for 2020.

Australian-born Professor David Haig, a specialist in evolutionary theory, will present public lectures in the Northern Territory as part of his appointment as the Charles Darwin Scholar.

Professor Haig will arrive in the Northern Territory on 25 May for a three-week tenure supported by a Fulbright Specialist grant, during which he will deliver Charles Darwin orations in Darwin and Alice Springs.

Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks made the announcement on 12 February as the university celebrated the 211th anniversary of the birth of namesake and naturalist Charles Darwin.

“I am delighted that Professor Haig has accepted our invitation to be the Charles Darwin Scholar and look forward to hearing his insights into the legacy of our extraordinary namesake,” Professor Maddocks said.

“Professor Haig has wide-ranging interests from the evolution of plant life cycles to maternal-foetal conflict in human pregnancy and specifically genetic conflicts within organisms as exemplified by genomic imprinting.”

The Charles Darwin Oration will be held at Casuarina campus on 28 May and at Alice Springs campus on 10 June.

Professor Haig, who was born and educated in Australia, has been at Harvard for more than 25 years where he is the George Putnam Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

His most recent book, “From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life”, explores how the meaningless process of natural selection produces purposeful beings who find meaning in the world.

The Charles Darwin Scholar Program is a biennial initiative established in 2013 to amplify CDU’s links to the work and legacy of Charles Darwin.