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Public Lecture: Hominid Evolution - How it has shaped human behavior, ethics and morality

Please join us for the rescheduled 2012 Lorraine Grace lectureship on societal issues of biomedical research:

Hominid Evolution
How it has shaped human behavior, ethics and morality

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013
Grace Auditorium


Richard E. Leakey
Professor, Chair
Turkana Basin Institute
Stony Brook University, Department of Anthropology

Paleoanthropologist, political advisor, and environmentalist Richard Leakey has been a key voice behind wildlife conservation and preservation for over 40 years. He was named one of TIME's 100 Greatest Minds of the 20th Century.

Son of the Louis B. and Mary, Leakey and his family have been credited with some of the most significant fossil discoveries in history. The Leakeys have unearthed Proconsul africanus, Australopithicus boisei, Homo habilis, and the footprints of Australopithecus afarensis, known as the skeleton "Lucy." Leakey's own team discovered the most intact early human skeleton ever found, nicknamed "Turkana Boy" and referred to as either Homo erectus or Homo ergaster in 1984.

The author of over 100 articles and books, Leakey examined the five great catastrophic extinctions in the history of the planet in his book, The Sixth Extinction. Written in 1995, before recent increased environmental awareness, Leakey stressed how human beings are dangerously reducing biodiversity, damaging eco-systems and possibly precipitating the next major mass extinction, which could affect humans.

His other books include Origins, Origins Reconsidered, The Origins of Humankind, and Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa's Natural Treasures. In 2011 Leakey served as a consultant on the IMAX film Born To Be Wild. His latest National Geographic film project Bones of Turkana premiered in May 2012 on PBS. Currently, an IMAX adaptation of The Sixth Extinction is in the works.

Leakey entered the world of politics in 1994, helping to form a political party opposed to the country's corrupt government. He was appointed to then President Moi's cabinet, as Director of Kenyan Wildlife Services in an attempt to curtail elephant poaching. Leakey also served as Director of the National Museums of Kenya. He left politics in 2001 in order to form his own political party to fight government corruption.

Now a Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS), Leakey has convened the Stony Brook World Environmental Forum and the Human Evolution Symposiums and Workshops. He is Chair of The Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook and Transparency International-Kenya.

Leakey is the founder of WildlifeDirect, an online service that supports conservationists and allows people to help save the world's most endangered species.

This lecture is free and open to the public.
Questions? Call 516-367-8455