- This event has passed.
Dr. Lee Berger, paleoanthropologist (Lecture Q&A)
August 16, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Understanding where we come from as a species has been one of the great goals of humankind, exploring the questions of where we come from and why we are here. In this lecture, Professor Lee Berger will explore some of the greatest discoveries of the last two decades in the search for human origins, discoveries he has been instrumental in, and intimately involved with as the leader of ground-breaking expeditions across Africa. These include the discoveries of two new species of ancient human relatives and the recently announced discovery of the first non-human burial practices and artistic symbols carved on cave walls hundreds of thousands of years ago by the extinct species Homo naledi. These discoveries have led us to literally re-evaluate the story of human origins and redefine what it means to be human. Using these current discoveries, and lessons from what has been described as one of the most challenging sciences on earth, Berger will explore why he believes we are currently in the greatest age of exploration and the meaning behind these new discoveries. Do these practices in a non-human species mean we have to re-evaluate human exceptionalism? Berger will relate the importance of lessons he has learned during his search for understanding human origins whilst on expeditions that nearly cost him his life. These lessons, he believes, are applicable to all areas of scientific endeavour and to our daily lives. He will also discuss the how future discoveries will transform our very understanding of the ancient past.