More from sci-fi writer and Kenyon College microbiology professor, Joan Slonczewski:
The most amazing experience I had in London was visiting the Natural History Museum. Built in 1881–just a few years after Darwin’s Origin of Species–this extraordinary building (by Alfred Waterhouse) intended to represent a “cathedral of nature.” The columns of this ornate building purposely differ in style, representing the diversity of natural life. Animals of all different species perch upon the windows.
The animals exhibit “natural” behaviors–the lion (above, center) is entwined by a python. Inside the vast edifice (below) amid zig-zagging stairs out of Hogwarts, monkeys climb the arch.
Above all the exhibits and thousands of visitors, the cathedral ceiling represents the most important of life forms: all different kinds of plants.
Darwin gets his statue, which visitors crowd to share his photograph.
Darwin also gives his name to the Darwin Centre, the super modern laboratory (2009) next door. This laboratory actually faces the visitors’ gallery, where the public can…
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