Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The HMS Beagle Trust
Fundraising is underway to build a replica of the HMS Beagle, which will set sail on a two-year voyage commencing in 2009. The Beagle’s mission is to conduct scientific research (in particular, Metagenomics and DNA Barcoding) in much the way Darwin did while circling the globe 177 years ago.
The Trustees of this UK registered charity describe the undertaking as follows:
The HMS Beagle Project
Bringing the adventure of science to life
We aim to rebuild the ship that carried Charles Darwin around the world. The voyage of the new Beagle will inspire global audiences through unique public engagement and learning programmes, and original scientific research in evolutionary biology, biodiversity and climate change.
She will cross the North and South Atlantic, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, round both Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. She will sail in her ancestor's wake, with international crews of young scientists and sailors aboard applying the tools of modern science to the work started by Darwin and Captain Fitzroy 170 years before.
The replica Beagle is not intended to be a museum ship; she will be equipped with laboratories and equipment to allow contemporary, original research. This is not only in keeping with Charles Darwin’s legacy but also creates an opportunity to engage students and teachers in the excitement of real scientific discovery.
You can peruse the details, or make a donation, at http://www.thebeagleproject.com/index.html
The HMS Beagle Trust also sponsors a blog, which is worth a look: http://thebeagleproject.blogspot.com/
The latest entry points to the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) website, which is raising funds to save the Floreana mockingbird from extinction. An earlier post highlights that the Trust and NASA will work together “…on a joint science, education and outreach programme centered on a direct link between the International Space Station and the new Beagle as she retraces the 1831-1836 voyage that carried a certain young naturalist around the world.”
Finally, I came across an article that claims the remains of the original HMS Beagle, which became a coastguard vessel before being sold for scrap in 1870, were located in 2004. Here’s a link to the article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3490564.stm