Malapa conversation on NPR

1 minute read

The “Science Friday” NPR show with Ira Flatow did an interview with Lee Berger and Bernard Wood yesterday about Australopithecus sediba. The transcript is now online: “Examining Ancient Fossils for Clues to Human Origins”, or you can also get the audio.

This is a nice interview with a lot of detail. I especially like the later part where Berger promotes the importance of getting more researchers into field discoveries.

Remember, that this was recovered right in the middle of the most explored area, probably, in the continent of Africa - for these very fossils, lying on the surface so easy a nine-year-old could find it. And there - Africa is a big continent. It is unexplored. The rest of the world's a big place, and we need to get more exploration and find more fossils. And I think that that is a clarion call at sediba rings out, that I think Bernard was alluding to as well.

Oh, and there’s this:

We are allowing scientists to examine this material, published and unpublished, anything we find. Any bona fide scientist can come to our labs and examine, whether we published it or not. So we're attempting an open access experiment. We've casts available. You, today, could go to the Smithsonian Museum or the American Museum of Natural History and see casts of the material that we published in Science today. They've been in those institutions for months and months and months, available to any scientists who wanted to look at them.