Upcoming events: Wisconsin Science Festival

I’ve had a very busy and interesting week at the European Society for Human Evolution meetings, and haven’t had a chance to update, and I’m on my way to Chicago for the International Celiac Disease Congress.

But I wanted to let readers know about a couple of upcoming events associated with the Wisconsin Science Festival. On Friday, NPR’s ScienceFriday program will be broadcasting live from Madison, in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and I will be participating from 1:00 to 1:30 pm (CDT). I will be talking about our work on recent human evolution and modern human origins.

On Saturday afternoon, I will be giving a public talk about modern human origins including new work that will be coming out over the next year.

Booting Up Humanity
Saturday, September 28 @ 3:30pm
Marquee Theater at Union South
1308 W. Dayton St.
The origin of our species was surprisingly complex. We have within us the genes of ancient Africans, Neandertals, and a mysterious population known as the Denisovans. Only a relative handful of genetic changes mark humans today as different from these ancient people. So how did the characteristics of modern humans, including complex social systems, symbolic thought, and language, evolve? New discoveries point in a surprising direction: Modern humans used a diversity of genes in a common social environment to bootstrap themselves to humanity. WIth the origin of modern human behavior, cultural evolution began to direct our genetic evolution, with rapid and unprecedented results.