Waterstone's book shop in Aberdeen's Union St was filled to capacity last night as author Kelley Swain launched the University of Aberdeen's Darwin celebrations during the latest Café Scientifique event.
The evening saw the first ever copies of Kelley's book sold ahead of her international tour throughout 2009.
Members of the public joined students and staff from the arts and sciences to listen to Kelley's poems and discuss her career path and influences leading to the creation of her book "Darwin's Microscope".
Over a third of last night's audience left with books signed by Kelley on the eve of Darwin's 200th birthday.
The event is the latest in a series of city-centre sessions organised by the Office of External Affairs Public Engagement with Science Unit and designed to offer the public an opportunity to discuss topical scientific issues in an informal environment.
Kelley's involvement with the University's Darwin events continues today as she hosts science and literature workshops for children in conjunction with the University's Natural History Centre and the city's Reading Bus.
The Darwin programme continues this evening in the Meston Building when geologist Dr Lyall Anderson of the University of Cambridge delivers a special lecture for Darwin's Birthday party commencing at 6pm. A specially produced Darwin200 cake and a range of refreshments will be on offer before the lecture.
The Café Scientifique season continues on March 11th when Professor John Parnell from the College of Physical Sciences will discuss his group's research involving analyis of rocks recovered back to earth after being launched into space for an extra-terrestrial discovery mission.
The March session will be part of the University's diverse programme to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week 2009. A full programme is being posted and is linked from http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mediareleases/admin2/www.abdn.ac.uk/science