The Missing Chapter
2016 - 2018
Hardback book (45 pages) exhibited next to Charles Darwin's copy of his book on worms (owned by the Royal Society)
This was a project that started in 2016, due to wondering how human activity, especially industrial activity effects the behaviour of Earthworms, who play an important role in the production of soil. Opposed to cruelty, the experiments were performed as kindly as possibly, also abiding by the Ethics of Research involving Animals. They consisted of playing a range of vibrations and patterns to worms and the results were recorded in a log. It was exhibited as a log, with the various instruments that were used, and a series of etchings, but later was turned in to a fictional chapter for a Charles Darwin book.
This was a would-be chapter written for Charles Darwin's 1881 book, 'The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, with Observations of their Habits. In his book Darwin wrote about how earthworms responded to various stimuli, but his hearing tests were limited to acoustical instruments. Cawley completed his experiments with a wider range of sound frequencies, thanks to modern technology. It was compiled as a 45 page photo essay called The Missing Chapter and it went on display at the Royal Society in January 2018 as part of their Changing Expectations in research culture project. It was exhibited next to Charles Darwin's original copy of his book so they could be viewed together. Though somewhat of a novel idea, The Royal Society aims to acknowledge the value of cross disciplinary research, and to consider how research culture should be stewarded to include a broadening landscape of research.