Discovery Institute Honors Charles Darwin With Academic Freedom Day

Discovery Institute today announced the launch of Academic Freedom Day in honor of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday on February 12, 2009.

“We’re celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday by supporting what he supported: academic freedom,” said Robert Crowther, Director of Communications at Discovery Institute. “Like Darwin, we recognize the importance of having an open and honest debate between evolution and intelligent design.”

In his revolutionary On the Origin of Species, Darwin wrote, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” This quote is the cornerstone of the Institute’s Academic Freedom Day efforts.

The Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is sponsoring Academic Freedom Day, assisting student groups, clubs, and individual students to organize Academic Freedom Day Events centered on Darwin’s birthday and his fair-minded approach to freedom of inquiry.

These events will give students and youth workers a way to express their support for free speech and the right to debate the evidence for and against evolution. In preparation for Academic Freedom Day, the CSC has launched, a website where students and others will be equipped to support academic freedom and fight censorship in tangible ways, like signing the academic freedom petition on evolution, wearing Academic Freedom Day t-shirts, entering the academic freedom on evolution video and essay contest, screening movies like Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed starring Ben Stein and Icons of Evolution, and starting Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) clubs.

“With the release of Expelled last year, we found that many young people want to know what they can do to stand up for academic freedom,” Crowther explained. “Now we’re equipping them to make a difference in science education across the country.”

For more information on Academic Freedom Day, visit