The Schemel Forum courses at The University of Scranton this fall focus on humankind’s ongoing efforts to grasp biological diversity.
Janice Voltzow, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Biology Department at the University, quotes Charles Darwin from his revolutionary “On the Origin of the Species” to explain why our planet’s amazing diversity of life has inspired and challenged the naturalists and scientists who have sought to understand it: “There is a grandeur in this view of life … from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved.”
“Understanding Biological Diversity: Past, Present and Future” begins by examining pre-evolutionary approaches to understanding diversity and how those approaches were transformed by the theory of evolution. Participants will then explore how the rediscovery of Mendel’s experiments led to Modern Synthesis, which integrates the basic principles of genetic inheritance with natural selection and evolution. Building on this foundation, the course will evaluate modern approaches to quantifying and organizing the diversity of life on earth, both past and present. Finally, participants will explore the current and potential effect of humans on biological diversity. The course will meet in the Weinberg Memorial Library from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on the following Thursdays: Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.
Registration is required to participate in the courses. Participants can attend any course for $60 per person or $100 per couple. To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or email@example.com. For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum, at (570) 941-4089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.