Issue 7
Monday, 02 September 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks and the Archivist of the Ancient Taylor Library at Shrewsbury School, Dr Robin Brooke-Smith. AT RIGHT: The first edition of “On the Origin of Species”, published 1859 and held by the library
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks and the Archivist of the Ancient Taylor Library at Shrewsbury School, Dr Robin Brooke-Smith. AT RIGHT: The first edition of “On the Origin of Species”, published 1859 and held by the library

VC’s Darwin talks may evolve into UK deal

By Patrick Nelson

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks says his visit last month to the English birth town of Charles Darwin may lead to a multidisciplinary partnership with the University Centre Shrewsbury.

Professor Maddocks and the Deputy Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) Paul Kirkbright discussed potential collaborations in joint areas of research in environmental science and rural health care, as well as the possibility of UCS bioscience students joining Charles Darwin University students on their annual research trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Shrewsbury’s Darwin Festival and Darwin Day, which commemorate the anniversary of the naturalist’s birth each 12 February, were raised as further areas of partnership.

The VC’s visit to Shrewsbury on his annual leave followed one to Darwin in February this year by Mr Kirkbright, who was guest speaker at CDU’s Darwin Day festivities.

“It was a pleasure to reciprocate Paul’s visit to Darwin and to see the University Centre first hand,” Professor Maddocks said.

“There are clearly a range of academic and research opportunities of relevance that could be fostered to mutual benefit.”

Professor Maddocks and wife Vicky toured several Darwin-specific sites in the scenic Tudor town, including a school library that houses a first edition of the naturalist’s seminal book “On the Origin of Species”.

“I enjoyed seeing Shrewsbury’s amazing and largely unheralded heritage and innovative past, key landmarks of Charles Darwin’s early life, as well as the environs that helped stimulate his interest in natural science,” Professor Maddocks said.

“It was a particular privilege to visit the Taylor Library at Shrewsbury School to see some of Darwin’s correspondence and a first edition of ‘On the Origin of Species’, among the treasures held there.”