Events open to the public from the University of Cambridge

Submit events


Is 'artificial' intelligent? Understanding human intelligence in the AI age

Join BAFTA winning documentary maker Sheila Hayman to explore how we can understand human intelligence in the AI age.

The platypus, Cambridge, and the animals Darwin thought were strange

Thu 29 September 2022

Cambridge University Library

When Charles Darwin encountered live platypuses and other Australian mammals, he claimed that – compared to the rest of the world’s animals – they were so strange that one might think “two distinct Creators must have been at work”.

Darwin is not alone in writing off marsupials, platypuses and echidnas as weird – ever since Europeans invaded Australia, the country’s mammals have regularly been described as “bizarre”, “odd” and even “primitive”. The origin of these subtle swipes, and why they are important for conservation today, are key themes in Jack Ashby’s new book Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals.

This talk will celebrate the incredible adaptations of these species, whilst exploring the way the wider world has come to know them, and why these stories matter in the face of an unprecedented ongoing extinction crisis.

Our speaker will be Jack Ashby, Assistant Director of the Museum of Zoology. Signed copies of his book, Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals, will be on sale in the University Library shop.

Darwin in Conversation: The Endlessly Curious Life and Letters of Charles Darwin:
This event is being hosted as part of Cambridge University Libraries exhibition, Darwin in Conversation: The Endlessly Curious Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. The exhibition is free and open to all, and those attending the talk are welcome to visit the exhibition beforehand (the exhibition will close after the talk finishes). Full details including opening times can be found on the University Library website.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Please book via the website. Queries relating to this event can be directed to events@lib.cam.ac.uk.



In person

All times

Thu 29 September 2022 5:30PM - 6:30PM


Address: Cambridge University Library
Milstein Seminar Rooms
West Road
Telephone: +44 1223 333000