Lovejoy kicks off 2010-11 Presidential Lecture Series on Tuesday

Monday, September 20, 2010

Presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Allen Chapman Activity Center Great Hall

C. Owen Lovejoy, University Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University, kicks off the The University of Tulsa's 2010-11 Presidential Lecture Series on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Allen Chapman Activity Center. For a map of the TU campus, click here

The Presidential Lecture Series is sponsored by the Darcy O'Brien Endowed Chair. All three of the lectures are free and open to the public.

Dr. Lovejoy will be presenting, “Are We Sexy Because We’re Smart or Smart Because We’re Sexy: What Ardi and Lucy Tell Us About How Humans Came to Be.” He is University Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University, Adjunct Professor of Anatomy at the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Lovejoy has authored nearly 150 articles on human evolution, and his work has been discussed in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Discover, Scientific American, the National Geographic and the Wall Street Journal, as well as all major science journals.

His work has centered on why humans first began to walk upright, and other aspects of early human evolution. He was a principal descriptor of “Lucy” and more recently was a principal author in the description of “Ardi,” a revolutionary new fossil whose description was chosen by Science as “Science Breakthrough of the Year” in 2009.

Dr. Lovejoy is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Science where he now serves on the editorial board of its Proceedings. He has specialized in examining the human fossil record from the perspectives of evolutionary theory and has argued that monogamy may have been one of the earliest human traits, likely first appearing nearly 5 million years ago, and thereby setting the stage for the further human development, especially the emergence of the massive human brain and eventually cognition. His presentation will center on the relationships between Ardi and Lucy and how these two major discoveries have provided fundamental new evidence on how we came to be.

In June 2010, Lovejoy and his colleagues announced the discovery of “Kadanuumuu,” an important new early hominid partial skeleton from Ethiopia that is 400,000 years older than the famous Lucy skeleton. Lovejoy is a principal author of the analysis of the new specimen to published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the world's most-highly cited multidisciplinary scientific serials.

The second presentation in the series will be Oct. 7 in the Great Hall of the Allen Chapman Activity Center with Nicholas Kristof, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for his column in The New York Times. Kristof is an extraordinary thinker, human rights advocate, and astute chronicler of humanity. A seasoned journalist, he has traveled the major roads and minor byways of China, Africa, India, and South Asia, offering a compassionate glimpse into global health, poverty, and gender in the developing world.

The series will conclude April 7 in the Donald W. Reynolds Center with An Evening with Seamus Heaney. A native of Northern Ireland, Nobel-laureate Heaney is often described as one of the world's greatest poets. His Death of a Naturalist (1966) won four major literary awards. His second volume, Door into the Dark (1969), was the Poetry Book Society Choice for the year in 1972. His 1975 volume, North, won the E.M. Forster Award and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize.


David Hamby