Science Week off to a tropical start

Science and Malaysian islands

16 October 2019 | Science

Swakopmund • Iréne-Mari van der Walt

The Scientific Society Swakopmund celebrates Science Week with a film festival from 14 to 18 October.

The week began on Monday evening with the screening of a documentary on the Malay Archipelago. An archipelago is a stretch of water that contains an abundance of islands and the Malay Archipelago is the origin of Darwin’s theory of natural selection – even before Darwin himself conceived his theory, some believe.

Before Darwin had the chance to publish his theory of evolution by natural selection, a British scientist named Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913) visited the archipelago to discover the origin of species variety. Russel later wrote the book ‘The Malay Archipelago’ in which he details his findings in the area.

The documentary follows Sulawesi Dirk Steffens in his journey to retrace Wallace’s steps in Borneo, an island in the archipelago.

Tuesday night delivered the screening of ‘Point of No Return’, a documentary in which Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg attempt to take a flight around the world without a drop of fuel. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon commended the duo that took the solar powered flight around the world, saying: “This very audacious courage – we need this kind of spirit to change this world.”

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