Charles Darwin — Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:19 pm on 19th March 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Hooper Baroness Hooper Conservative 4:19 pm, 19th March 2009

My Lords, I feel totally justified in having brought this Motion before your Lordships. It has been a serious, well informed and inspiring debate, and as I anticipated, I, for one, have learnt a great deal. I found it fascinating, in listening to every word from every speaker, is that there has been a refreshing lack of repetition. Each intervention has introduced a new theme or a different approach without much, or any, orchestration from me. I am glad to learn that we may have an ongoing debate on the role of science in the coming year when we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Society.

I am most grateful to all the noble Lords who have contributed so thoughtfully and informatively. I think it will make today's Hansard a really good read. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Lea, has been reassured that the work of the Galapagos Conservation Trust is not to contradict Darwin's conclusions about the survival of the fittest, but to ensure that we humans do not upset the balance of nature and the process of natural evolution.

I have been greatly encouraged to hear what is being done for the future in terms of science education and especially about the Kew treasure chest, the Great Plant Hunt and the Beagle project. The Minister had a difficult task expressing a governmental rather than a personal viewpoint. However, the great list of activities that he referred to will enable anyone with the time and interest to pursue further the information gathering that has gone on this afternoon.

Once again, I thank noble Lords for their contributions to the celebrations of the bicentenary of the great Charles Darwin. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.