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Welcome to Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now

Welcome to the Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now Schools Conference page.

This is the first ever Schools Conference sponsored by The Genetics Society, aptly taking place in the year of Charles Darwin’s bicentenary, and is a perfect opportunity for you and your pupils to explore Evolution and Genetics with contemporary scientists. This page will help you find out all about the conference; where and when it is, what the day will involve and how to book.

Who is the conference for?

The day has been designed for pupils studying for Higher and Advanced Higher Biology. Teachers of the pupils are also welcome to attend.

What will the conference cost?

The conference is FREE due to the kind support of The Genetics Society, which has fully funded the conference. Transport arrangements will be left down to the school but if you think your pupils may not be able to attend due to the costs involved in transport then we invite you to apply for these costs to be covered or part covered through a travel bursary from The Genetics Society. Application for a travel bursary can be made on the booking form.

What will be happening at the conference?

The day will start with a key note lecture from Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London. The pupils will then split into four different workshops, pre-selected prior to the conference. Each workshop will begin with a talk from a current Evolutionary Biologist or Geneticist whose work is related to that topic. The rest of the workshop will focus on structured group discussions and activities to develop the topic, and will be facilitated by science researchers and / or science communicators.

Following lunch, when a complimentary buffet will be served, the pupils will go to a second pre-selected workshop from those described in the conference outline, which will follow the same format as the morning session.

Following afternoon break all of the pupils will gather for the final session of the day which will bring together the issues and developments of the group workshops. Finally, a couple of researchers will describe their research, career paths and hobbies so as to help pupils think about careers they may choose for themselves.

The sessions have been designed to link in with the book Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now, which was produced at The University of Edinburgh in celebration of Charles Darwin’s bicentenary. Currently, ten books are being distributed to each secondary school in Scotland, which has Higher and / or Advanced Higher Biology pupils. A PDF of the booklet can be viewed and downloaded here.

If you haven’t received copies of the book and want to find out how they are being distributed in your area please contact Cathy Southworth at The University of Edinburgh on 0131 650 5367 or email and she will be happy to help.

How does the conference link to the curriculum?

In order to make the day more than just an enriching experience for your pupils, the conference has been designed to cover aspects of the Higher and Advanced Higher syllabuses. This curriculum coverage will make sure that time at the conference is worth time out of class.

Each workshop corresponds to a chapter in the book Think Darwin, Think Evolution, Think Now and the teachers’ notes for the book give detailed links between the chapters and the curriculum. These can be viewed and downloaded at  Happy Birthday Darwin

How can I book?

Booking is on a first come first served basis and the closing date for bookings is 1st November, 2009. There are a maximum number of 400 places so early booking is recommended.

You can book on line by following this link: Conference now full

Once you have made a booking you will hear by email within three working days whether or not your booking has been confirmed.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions about the conference or the book , no matter how small, then contact Cathy Southworth on 0131 650 5367 or

I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting you at the conference.

Conference outline




Reception and Registration


Welcome and Key note Lecture


Session 1: Choice of four parallel workshops:

  1. Evolution Now: How genetics and the theory of evolution through natural selection combine.
  2. Human Intervention: Artificial selection
  3. Miraculous Medicine: How Evolutionary and Genetic insights can be helpful in medicine.
  4. Climate Conundrum: How can an understanding of evolution and genetics help in the face of global issues such as climate change and the effect on biodiversity?


LUNCH (complimentary buffet provided)


Session 2Choose a further workshop from the options shown for session one.




Review session and close

3.00-3.40: Feedback and summaries from each of the session options (10 minutes each).

3.40-4.00: What next? Careers and opportunities in Evolution and Genetics and where to find out more.

4:00-4:15: Close and evaluation


“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.

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

Text and links may be out of date