In this course you will learn how evolution works. You will develop an understanding of evolutionary processes and their formative power. You will see how evolution has shaped biodiversity, and continuously influences our daily life. Evolution impacts human endeavors as varied as medicine, agriculture, psychology, economy, and culture. It is the major unifying principle for biology and a fundamental natural law. In five weeks we will make evolution accessible for you and help you to recognize evolutionary processes around you, in nature as well as in society. We make use of the unique collection of Naturalis, the natural history museum in Leiden, but also take you to the field. Using classical and up-to-date examples, we will show you how scientists address evolutionary questions. In the last module, we will have a look at the future. How will humans evolve? And how do we influence our own evolution and that of other organisms?
Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge and prepares them for careers both within and outside of academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded in 1575. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis (Bastion of Liberty) - Freedom of spirit, thought and expression. Leiden University has a campus in Leiden and The Hague, with 7 faculties, 47 Bachelor Programmes, 79 Master Programmes and nearly 30,000 students.
Naturalis is the natural history museum of the Netherlands and the national research institute in biodiversity. We collect, conserve and study animals, plants and rocks. Our collection now contains 37 million objects and that makes it one of the largest in the world. And it is still growing each day thanks to the worldwide fieldwork of our researchers and many amateur scientists.