Investigate, experiment and learn more about science in the news!

On Saturday 26th November, Earthworm Watch will take part in Super Science Saturday, an event hosted by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The museum is one of the most historically and scientifically important and beautiful natural history museums in the world. The event will allow the opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn about important scientific research reported in the news, including meeting some of the scientists behind that research.

Earthworm Watch will be on hand to encourage people of all ages to take part in the survey, learn about the fascinating lives of earthworms and recognise the importance of earthworms for soil health. Visitors can handle earthworms and find out more about initial results to map the diversity, abundance and understand the ecosystem services provided by earthworms.

There is also the opportunity to meet scientists from the university and other scientific institutions. Projects you can also learn about include how you can find big cats by studying Dung Beetle poo, research into Penguins, Plesiosaurs and ageing nematode worms.

If you want to find out more about Super Science Saturday watch this short video:

The museum is free to visit (but donations are welcome) and the event is drop-in between 11-4.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History was founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History now holds the University’s internationally important geological and zoological specimens. In a beautiful neo-Gothic building, the Museum’s collections are used for natural environment research, teaching and public engagement. Among its most famous features are the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the Dodo, and the swifts in the tower.

The museum also has an important link to Charles Darwin (who studied earthworms for over 30 years and wrote the book ‘The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms in 1881). The museum was the stage for a debate of Darwin’s theory of evolution on 30th June 1860. His long-time friend and supporter, scientist Thomas Henry Huxley (also nicknamed Darwin’s bulldog) went up against Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford (known as Soapy Sam) who debated Darwin’s ideas. The debate became heated and quite bitter (a young lady even fainted!).

Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed descent from a monkey. Huxley is said to have replied that he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth. During that exchange, it was unclear as to who had won, but there had been open debate for Darwin’s theory to be heard by the public and improved support for his ideas.  

The museum is free to visit (but donations are welcome) and the event is drop-in between 11-4.