Faculty conversations: Danita Brandt
Danita Brandt and the other members of the Darwin Discovery Day committee have the annual event down to a science.
The MSU Museum will host its seventh annual Darwin Discovery Day to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday and his contributions to science. Darwin is the founder of modern evolutionary theory.
“It’s a celebration of all the sciences across MSU,” said Brandt, an adjunct curator at the MSU Museum and associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.
The event, which draws about 500 visitors each year, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 13, the Sunday closest to Darwin’s birthday. Darwin was born Feb. 12, 1809.
Visitors may bring in rocks and fossils for MSU experts to identify and can tour the Bug Room, which includes beetles that are used to clean bones.
“One of Darwin’s earliest loves was collecting beetles,” Brandt said. “It was quite the rage in Victorian England.”
Hands-on material that is normally not offered will also be displayed, and visitors may go behind the scenes and tour the collections that are normally closed to the public, an opportunity that only happens once a year, she said.
And of course, there will be birthday cake, Brandt said.