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McMurrin Lecture: How Darwin and Lincoln Shaped the Modern World

Adam Gopnik, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and 2013 McMurrin Professor, will speak at the University of Utah on March 20.

March 6, 2013 – Author and cultural essayist Adam Gopnik will give this year’s McMurrin Professorship Lecture based on his book “Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life,” presented by the Honors College at the University of Utah.

Gopnik will deliver the free public lecture on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Building on the University of Utah campus.

A staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, Gopnik was selected as the 2013 McMurrin Professor—named for Sterling M. McMurrin, noted philosopher and historian—an appointment which brings a scholar of recognized eminence in his or her field to the university.

Gopnik’s talk is drawn from the foundation of his book: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day—Feb. 12, 1809—an ocean apart, each of their ideas and principles profoundly impacting the shape of our modern world. Gopnik parallels and compares these two icons of emancipation and evolution as ordinary family men, with ambitions, faults, passions and brilliant ideas that helped define the spirit of a new world with principles of robust democracy and innovative science.

The purpose of the McMurrin lectureship is to raise the level of campus discourse and enrich undergraduate education in cooperation with a selected college or department each year. During their appointment, McMurrin Professors offer a public event and are available to meet with undergraduate students and faculty.

More information about the lecture is available online at, or by calling 801-581-7383.

The Honors College at the University of Utah provides intellectually curious, motivated students with the foundations of a rigorous liberal arts education nested within the context of a world-class research university. Honors College students engage the best of two worlds—a small college liberal arts experience, including rigorous coursework and living-learning opportunities, joined with a world class research university and the opportunity to work closely with top researchers and scholars. See more information about the Honors College at

The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves more than 32,000 students from across the United States and the world. With more than 72 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 100 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. Learn more about all the U has to offer online at