The 200th anniversary of Alfred Russel Wallace's birth is next year (8th January 2023). The public and the Press love significant anniversaries, so this is a great opportunity for public engagement about the history of evolutionary biology and evolution by natural selection! So far we know of the following events designed to celebrate the anniversary: one museum exhibition, two or three one day symposia, a three part TV series, and about ten books. The books include what will be the best biography of Wallace written to date, the first French translation of The Malay Archipelago, a biography in Norwegian, and a lavishly illustrated book focusing on his tropical adventures.
The Wallace Memorial Fund played an important role in the worldwide events which marked the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death in 2013, and we hope to contribute as much as possible to the 2023 celebration, which we expect will take place during the whole of 2023. Not only do we have the world's most visited Wallace-related website (this one!), but we own the copyright of Wallace's letters, notebooks and other unpublished works, and the reproduction rights to most of the very best photographs of Wallace, his artwork etc. For the 2013 anniversary we sent more than 220 Wallace-related images to 32 organisations or individuals around the world for use in articles, books and exhibitions (most were supplied free of charge, as they were non-commercial projects) and we also initiated and led the campaign to raise funds for the magnificent bronze statue of Wallace now in London's Natural History Museum. For the 2023 anniversary the Fund has designed a Wallace200 logo (see above) - and we encourage everyone who organises Wallace-related events in 2023 to use it on their websites, publications etc in order to show that they are part of the worldwide Wallace celebrations.
The Wallace200 logo features a beautiful watercolour of Wallace's Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) painted by Wallace himself in Sarawak in 1855. Wallace discovered that this species can glide through the air using the greatly expanded membranes between its toes and thought it was an excellent example of an evolutionary adaptation. Sadly not many of his fellow naturalists believed his story until it was confirmed many years later... The logo has no copyright attached to it - it is in the public domain - so you do not have to ask permission to use it. When the time comes to advertise your event, please let us know the details (email email@example.com) and we will add them to the Wallace2023 events listing on this website and on the Alfred Russel Wallace Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/1stJuly1858).
The 2023 anniversary will be an excellent opportunity for science education and public engagement. It would be a great shame to miss it!