Guest Lectures and Family Programs


Thursday, December 8
6:30 – 8:30 PM
BorgWarner Community Room
From Human Origins to Human Opportunities: Science, Religion and Culture as Essential Decision-making Tools for Turbulent Times
Presented by Eric Clay of Shared Journeys
This interactive seminar explores how to reconcile the strengths of science, culture, and religion. We’ll work on developing the personal communication skills that would reduce rancor in order to benefit both informal public conversations and formal public decision-making. We are sometimes reluctant to face squarely the tension between the human capacity for objectivity and the human reality of subjectivity when striving to exercise good judgment. Unfortunately, this prevents us from successfully addressing serious questions, locally as well as globally, about justice, security, health, food and the environment for the benefit of all humanity.

This program will also be offered on Thursday January 12, 2017

Saturday, December 10
11:00 AM
Borg Warner Community Room
How does Neanderthal DNA impact our human biology today?
aaronAaron Sams, a biological anthropologist and computational biologist and currently a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell, whose research involves understanding patterns of neanderthal ancestry in humans talks about archaic ancestry in humans.  He will cover the various insights that have been gained into human evolution and ancestry from the sequencing of archaic human DNA. This is a non-specialist narrative of the development of this field, ending by discussing the insights into human biology that come from Neanderthal DNA.

Saturday, December 10
2:00 PM
Tools and Human Development: Thinking about People through the Things They Makecornellprof

Frederic Gleach, Curator of the Anthropology Collections at Cornell, will talk about prehistoric stone tools and how archaeologists use them in the effort to better understand the people who made and used them.

Discovery Trail Weekend
December 17 and 18, 2016
Join members of the Discovery Trail as they present programs related to Human Origins and What It Means To Be Human taking place at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Sciencenter, The History Center, and the Johnson Museum of Art. For more information about the Discovery Trail visit specifically to help you facilitate your field trip.

Friday January 6yah
5:00 – 8:00 PM
YOU ARE HERE: Exploring Human Evolution opens on First Friday Gallery Opening Night.
Cooperation is a distinguishing feature of our species and is deeply rooted in our evolutionary past. How did humans develop such exceptional forms of cooperation? Why do humans cooperate, and how is it that we do it so well? Learn the answers to these questions through exhibit “You Are Here: Exploring Human Evolution.”

“You Are Here” will present the clues scientists have uncovered about the evolutionary past of modern humans, and will highlight six key trends that have made humans the most cooperative species on the planet. The exhibition will discuss how biology, culture, and environment interact to make us who we are.  Visitors will explore the lives of our hominid ancestors through skulls, stone tools, and other artifacts and specimens, while discovering where humans fit on the evolutionary tree of life.

Thursday January 12
6:30 – 8:30 PM
From Human Origins to Human Opportunities: Science, Religion and Culture as Essential Decision-making Tools for Turbulent Times.
Second session of interactive seminar, led by Eric Clay of Shared Journeys.

Thursday January 19
6:00 – 7:30 PM 
The Evolution of Language morten
Presented by Morten H. Christiansen, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Co-Director, Cornell Cognitive Science Program and Professor of Child Language, Aarhus University and Senior Scientist, Haskins Laboratories

kathleenSaturday January 28
2:00 PM
Women in the Paleolithic
A presentation by Professor Kathleen Stirling, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Anthropology Binghamton University.

Tuesday February 7 michael
6:00 – 7:30 PM
How and why do languages change and how we can use linguistics to study prehistory and the dispersion of modern humans around the globe. 
A presentation by Michael Weiss, Professor of Linguistics at Cornell University. 

Saturday, February 11, 1—2:00 PM
Families Learning Science Together
Details to follow

Darwin Days 2017 February 12—18
Program details to follow

Saturday, February 18, at Cayuga Nature Center
Flintknapping—A hands-on programsebastian
presented by Professor Sebastien Lacombe from Binghamton University.

Stone Age Butchery and Cookingcostura
Presented by Dr. Maureen Costura Associate Professor Liberal Arts, Culinary Institute of America.

Thursday, February 23, 6—7:30 PM
aquadro-chipheadnov2007-200x279A talk on Human Diversity and Evolution
A presentation by Charles Aquadro, Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences & Professor of Population Genetics  in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.