Renowned Paleontologist to Give Free Public Talk on Finding Your Inner Fish

Neil Shubin will give the Science as a Way of Knowing lecture at UC Riverside on May 11

Neil Shubin is the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Anatomy at the University of Chicago. Photo credit: Shubin lab, University of Chicago.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer Neil H. Shubin will deliver the John A. and Betty C. Moore Science as a Way of Knowing lecture at the University of California, Riverside on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Free and open to the public, the hour-long talk is titled “Finding Your Inner Fish.” It will begin at 6 p.m., in Rooms D-E, UCR Extension Center, 1200 University Avenue, Riverside, Calif. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow the talk.  Parking is free for attendees.

“I want people to see how, as we discover more about fossils and DNA, that inside of every part of our bodies lies artifacts of over 3 billion years of the history of life,” Shubin said.

Famous for his discovery of Tiktaalik, the 375-million-year-old “fish with hands,” Shubin is the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Anatomy at the University of Chicago. He has written two popular science books: the best-selling “Your Inner Fish” (2008), named best book of the year by the National Academy of Sciences and made into an Emmy Award winning PBS series (2014); and “The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body” (2013).

Shubin has conducted landmark research on the evolutionary origin of anatomical features of animals. He has conducted fieldwork in much of North America, Greenland, as well as China, Africa and Antarctica. The 375-million-year-old fossil called Tiktaalik roseae, one of his most significant discoveries, is an important transitional form between fish and land animals.

He currently serves as co-interim director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Given how we now live in times when we have to march for science, Neil Shubin’s lecture comes to campus at an excellent time to explain to the public not only the importance of science, but also how the pursuit of evidence provides the basis for knowledge,” said Richard Cardullo, a professor of biology at UC Riverside who invited Shubin to campus. “His lecture promises to be entertaining and informative.”

The lecture is co-sponsored by UCR’s Department of Biology, Department of Earth Sciences, University Honors and the Global Issues Forum.

The John A. and Betty C. Moore Science as a Way of Knowing lecture series was established in 1997 to bring outstanding scientists to campus who are especially recognized for their contributions to society and especially to science education. John Moore was a professor in the Department of Biology from 1969 until his death in 2002. He was widely recognized for his contributions to the teaching of science. He authored “Science as a Way of Knowing,” the seven-volume series still used by scientists around the world for teaching from the high school to the graduate school level.

For more information about the lecture series or the May 11 talk, please call (951) 827-5323.

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