When I was organizing a 200th birthday party for Charles Darwin, I desperately wanted a life-size cut out that people could pose with. If done right, even non-scientists would want their photograph taken (right?) … and then they’d share their photographs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and in the process spread acceptance of evolution. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a life-size Darwin anywhere on the planet. I was despondent.
Luckily, I managed to convince Carl Buell to paint him. Carl, being a great guy in addition to a great illustrator, lets me share the digital file with individuals who will put a portable Charles Darwin to good use. It’s simple: you contact me and tell me you need it, then I send you the file which you can print and mount onto poster board. I’d estimate that there are now 50 life-sized Darwins on the planet. If set up in a nice area, a portable Charles provides an irresistible photo op. Great for museums, Darwin Day parties, biology buildings at colleges, etc.
My long-term, futile goal is to encourage the use of Charles Darwin as an icon for science, not just evolution and natural selection. Currently, when the media needs an image for science, it opts for Einstein. Darwin would be better because he did thousands of creative experiments and wrote about them for the general public. If you need a person to represent the scientific process and a creative mind, he’s the guy. And he had great facial hair.
Contact me if you’d like to synthesize him. All I ask is that you (1) post, online, at least one photograph that is in some way funny, dramatic, alluring, etc., (2) link to this page so that others can get their own Darwin, and (3) credit Carl Buell as the artist.
ⓒ Colin Purrington 2004-2017