Here’s a sweet idea: rebuild Darwin’s ship, the Beagle in time for the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth in 2009 (and also the 150 year mark for publication of the Origin).
2009 is the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, an event which will be celebrated throughout the world. The Beagle Project will rebuild a working replica of HMS Beagle in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales. It will provide the striking icon of Darwin’s achievement around which the celebrations will coalesce, and which is already attracting the attention of TV and film companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
The replica Beagle will recreate the 1831-36 circumnavigation with international crews of aspiring young scientists aboard, following the same course and making similar landfalls to those made by HMS Beagle when Darwin was aboard. The crew will take part in modern sampling, observation and experiments in a range of disciplines: biology, geology, oceanography, physics and meteorology. Their work will be followed in labs and classrooms worldwide through an interactive website. They will also compare the climate and wildlife observations made by Darwin and the crew of the Beagle in the 1830s with conditions today.