This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series features a Q&A with biologist, writer, and runner Bernd Heinrich. The talk was recorded during the first annual Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities, held on November 15th, 2014, at the University of New England’s Portland Campus. It focused on the topic “Why Darwin Matters.”
Bernd Heinrich is a professor emeritus at the University of Vermont and has authored books on biology, ecology, evolution, nature, and running. He has made major contributions to the study of insect and bird physiology and behavior. His most recent books include Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death, The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration, and Why We Run: A Natural History. Heinrich has won numerous long distance running events and set a number of open U.S. ultramarathon and masters records.
In this podcast, he discusses his path to natural science, writing, and his own curiosity. “Without those ideas of Darwin, of evolution, there wouldn’t be any story at all,” he says. “It would all simply be random noise and we wouldn’t be able to make any sense out of it. It just keeps going on and on from one question to the next.”