A symposium on the biology and context of Homo naledi

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I was in Atlanta with colleagues last week for the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists were last week, in association with the Paleoanthropology Society meeting. I’ll try to give some highlights of these meetings over the next few days.

Teeth from the Dinaledi Chamber
Teeth and mandibles from the Dinaledi Chamber representing different life history stages.

For me, the real event was on Saturday, when 15 members of our team presented detail across much of the skeleton of Homo naledi. This symposium was packed for most of the long morning session, and it was great to see so many friends and colleagues presenting on their research. It was also really useful to have an open half-hour of discussion at the end of the symposium—so many great questions from the audience, and they could be directed to the best person on the team to answer in detail. It was a real scientific conversation, really different from many of the sensationalist debates of past meetings.

Many of the session’s attendees, and a few of the participants, were tweeting during the morning session. Caroline VanSickle has done a great Storify of the tweets from the symposium, covering all the talks and the question and answer period that followed. I was too busy introducing speakers and timing the talks to be tweeting at the same time, so it is great to have this record.