The Beagle Project aims to build a replica of HMS Beagle and retrace Darwin’s famous voyage. The intention is that this will inspire global audiences through unique public engagement and learning programmes, and original scientific research in evolutionary biology, biodiversity and climate change. I think it’s great! I’ve been keeping half an eye on the website, & recently had an e-mail discussion with a film maker who’s following the project & was keen to hear about some of the evolutionary biology that’s being done here at Waikato.
And now I see that the voyage will be tracked by the International Space Station. The idea is that scientists & students on the Beagle will work with astronauts on the Station, looking at a range of ecosystems that includes plankton blooms and coral reefs – most appropriate, given Darwin’s own fascination with the development of coral reefs. As the press release says: Space stations, square riggers and marine biology: science does not get more exciting than this.
And I see that Charles himself approves 🙂