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Welcome to<em>Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now</em>

Welcome to Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now

Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now has been produced by SIBE (Scottish Initiative for Biotechnology Education) at The University of Edinburgh to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. The booklet has been designed for Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher students of biology and copies are being sent to every Secondary School in Scotland.  This page will let you view and download the booklet, teachers’ notes (with detailed curriculum links) and podcasts.

If you would like further information about the book or find out how it’s being distributed in your area please contact Cathy Southworth on 0131 650 5367 or

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Podcasts Coming soon


“Let me thank you for all the effort you have put into this fantastic resource.  It is very pupil friendly and laid out in such a way that it is very accessible.  The book combines many of the current topical themes in Biology and it is very useful for the pupils to see them combined as such.” 
Pauline Garrow, Grantown Grammar, Highland.

About the scientists who were interviewed for the booklet and podcasts.

Professor Steve Bishop

Steve Bishop is a researcher at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, where he leads a group studying animal disease genetics. His research interests cover many livestock and aquaculture species from sheep to salmon, and he aims to find ways to breed animals that are more resistant to diseases, i.e. happier and healthier animals. These interests stem from his background, having been brought up on a sheep farm in New Zealand , as does his love of outdoor activities and hill climbing. To relax he is a keen piano player and, when the weather permits, attempts to play tennis.

Dr. Alison Blackwell

Alison is director of her own business, Advanced Pest Solutions. Alison says that spending a lot of time out-of-doors in Scotland has made her realise just how bad the midges can be; even her two large dogs, who are scared of nothing would rather hide in a tent than come out and get bitten! This and her interest in understanding the interactions of insects with the environment and how these might be manipulated to effect control, led to the career route that Alison has taken.

Professor Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth is Professor and Head of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at The University of Edinburgh. In his spare time he likes reading, listening to classical music and hill-walking. He also has two cats and a dog.<

Professor David Porteous

Professor Porteous holds the Chair of Human Molecular Genetics in Medicine at The University of Edinburgh and has expertise in many areas including gene therapy for cystic fibrosis and the genetics of psychiatric disorders. "Growing up in Aberdeen and outside of school, whenever possible I was playing or working outdoors, which I am sure cultivated my general awareness and interest in the annual cycle of plant and animal life, primed me for Darwin's big idea and led me into a research career in genetics at The University of Edinburgh. Some of my best ideas still come to me from outside the laboratory, perhaps after explaining to family and friends what we are doing and why and what we have found. I can't imagine a more rewarding career, despite the highs and lows of success and inevitable failure. So I absolutely need the counterpoint of my wife, daughters and now, son-in-laws and grandchildren. For physical exercise, I get on my bike, walk through the woods, or (too rarely) wind surf and ski. For the mind, I enjoy nothing better than a good (usually foreign) film or arts show."

Helen Senn

Helen is a PhD Student at The University of Edinburgh in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology. After she left school Helen Senn went on a trip to the Indian Himalayas. Whilst on a Himalayan mountain she decided it was not time to go to university yet so when she came back home she earned some money working in a care home and then set off to New Zealand and Fiji. She spent most of her time hiking up mountains but also learnt lots about the devastating impact alien species can have (introduced mammals in New Zealand are responsible for the decimation of many bird species because they have evolved in the absence of mammals).When she came back to the UK she started a degree in Biology at St Andrews University. During this time she spent a lot of time doing her favourite hobby, you guessed it - climbing mountains, which is also how she met Ed who later became her husband. During her summer holidays she worked as a volunteer on a study of red deer on the island of Rum, which inspired her to apply for a PhD on red sika deer hybridisation at Edinburgh University.

This site is no longer maintained and has been left for archival purposes

Text and links may be out of date