2014 Schwartz Forum: Why Darwin Matters

2014: Why Darwin Matters

Print by Dorothy Schwartz of tortoise, inspired by Charles Darwin

Print by Dorothy Schwartz of tortoise, inspired by Charles Darwin

Where: University of New England’s Westbrook College Campus at 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland

When: November 15, 2014, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: (All tickets include a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to the cocktail reception)

  • General public: $40
  • Students (K-12 and college/university): First 15 to sign up are free; please call us at 773-5051 or email info@mainehumanities.org to reserve your spot
  • Educators (K-12): $15 for up to 20 K-12 educators (librarians, teachers, administrators); please call us at 773-5051 or email info@mainehumanities.org to reserve your spot. CEUs will be available.

Program Schedule

8:30 am Coffee reception
9:00 Introductions
9:15 Janet Browne, Harvard University – “Darwin Revisited in the 21st Century”
10:15 Break
10:35 Christoph Irmscher, Indiana University – “Darwin and Agassiz: How Two Scientists Saw the Galapagos So Differently”
11:35 Rebecca Goodale, University of Southern Maine –”Ant Farm: At the Nexus of Art and Science”
12:00 pm Lunch
1:20 Q&A with Biologist, Writer, and Runner Bernd Heinrich
2:20 Don Dearborn, Bates College – “How Darwin’s Mind Worked”
3:20 Break
3:45 Peter Sheppard Skaerved  – Musical Presentation of “Darwin’s Dream,” composed by Elliot Schwartz
4:30 Closing panel
5:00 Reception and exhibit


Janet BrowneJanet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

Janet Browne is Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. Her interests range widely over the history of the life sciences and natural history. After a first degree in zoology she studied for a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London, published as The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography (1983). Ever since then she has specialised in reassessing Charles Darwin’s work, first as associate editor of the early volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, and more recently as author of a major biographical study that integrated Darwin’s science with his life and times. She was based for many years at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London where she taught in the MA, MSc and undergraduate programs in the history of science, biology, and medicine. She has been editor of the British Journal for the History of Science and president of the British Society for the History of Science.


Bernd HeinrichBernd Heinrich, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont
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 DeathThe 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.

Don DearbornDon Dearborn, Chair of the Biology Department, Bates College
Don Dearborn is an evolutionary biologist and chair of the Biology Department at Bates College. Working at research sites in Central America, New Zealand, the Middle East, and on remote oceanic islands, he has published extensively on how evolution shapes the behavior of animals – including deception, retaliation, and reproductive parasitism. His research on wild animal populations sometimes conveniently intersects with his love of whitewater kayaking, trail running, and mountain biking. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Lewiston, Maine, with his wife and daughter.
Christoph Irmscher‪Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English, Indiana University Bloomington

Christoph Irmscheris Provost Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington and George F. Getz Jr. Professor in the Wells Scholars Program, which he also directs. Among his books are The Poetics of Natural History,Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200, and Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science. He is the editor of Library of America edition of John James Audubon’s Writings and Drawings. His new project is a biography of the writer, editor, and political activist Max Eastman.


Rebecca GoodaleRebecca Goodale, Program Coordinator, Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts, University of Southern Maine

‪Rebecca Goodale is a book artist whose work can be found in numerous public collections throughout the United States including the local collections at Bowdoin College Library, the Maine Women Writers Collection, and the Portland Museum of Art. Her awards include A New Forms Regional Initiative Grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, a Mellon Grant for the Humanities at Bates College, and in 1995 she was a Resident Scholar for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. She collaborated with artists Dorothy Schwartz, Colleen Kinsella, and Vivien Russe, to create Ant Farm: At the Nexus of Art & Science, a multimedia exhibit merging art and science inspired by leafcutter ants. Rebecca teaches Design and Book Arts for the USM Art Department. She is also the Program Coordinator for USM’s Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts.

Peter Skaerved‪Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Violinist

Peter Sheppard Skaervedis the founder and leader of the Kreutzer Quartet and the Munich-based Ensemble Triolog, directs an acclaimed series of concerts at Wiltons Music Hall in London, and regularly appears as director and soloist with ensembles such as the Zagreb Soloists and Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen. His discography is extensive, ranging from cycles of sonatas by Beethoven and Telemann, the complete quartets of David Matthews, Michael Tippett, and cycles of concerti from Haydn to Henze. He has won awards from the BBC Music Magazine, been nominated for a Gramophone Award, as well as a GRAMMY for a concerto recording in 2007. He records for NMC, Chandos, Naxos, Metier and Toccata. He is also acclaimed for his collaborative work with museums, working regularly with the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Galleries, Victoria and Albert Museum and worldwide. He plays on a 1698 Stradivari owned by Joseph Joachim from the collections of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is the Fellow of Performance Studies.

Elliot SchwartzElliot Schwartz, Robert K. Beckwith Professor Emeritus of Music, Bowdoin College
Elliott Schwartz, husband of the late Dorothy Schwartz, is an American composer and the Robert K. Beckwith Professor Emeritus of Music at Bowdoin College, where he joined the faculty in 1964. A graduate of Columbia University, he has held visiting residencies and fellowships at the University of California (Santa Barbara and San Diego), Ohio State University, Harvard University, Tufts University, Cambridge and Oxford Universities (UK), and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center (Bellagio, Italy). Performances of his music include the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Houston Symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Kreutzer and Borromeo Quartets, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and the MOMA Summer Garden (NYC); Tanglewood, the Bath Festival (UK); Leningrad Spring (Russia), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), and the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Denmark). Recordings of his music can be heard on the New World, CRI, Capstone, Innova, Albany and GM labels.

What people are saying

  • “This evening has been a thoughtful exercise, a compassionate act, and an uncomfortable stretch.”


  • "Lovely day - more than informative: inspirational."


  • “This is such a fantastic idea- to have a multidisciplinary approach to these issues to encourage collaboration."


  • "[I was] exposed to more, and many, connections in Maine between organizations, institutions, and people."