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Wednesday March 9, 2016

The next edition of the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s “2nd Thursday Science Talks” takes place Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m., when Dr. Charles P. Egeland, assistant professor of biological anthropology and paleoanthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, presents "A Neanderthal's perspective on the existence of ‘races’ among modern humans".  Admission to the presentation is free thanks to generous donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund. 

For many years, anthropologists have grappled with the central paradox of "race". On the one hand, the nature of human variation seriously undermines the biological reality of racial categories. On the other hand, it is evident that one's race, as a marker of status, identity, or heritage, is real and, thus, really matters. In this presentation, we will step back nearly 35,000 years, when the last Neanderthals roamed Ice Age Eurasia, to explore what these extinct humans can teach us about race and, ultimately, what it means to be human in today's world.

Dr. Egeland earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from Indiana University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Colorado State University.  His research interests include paleoanthropology, hominin diet and subsistence, paleolithic archaeology, zooarchaeology, vertebrate taphonomy and paleoenvironmental studies.

The museum's "2nd Thursday Science Talks" take place on the second Thursday of each month through May 12, 2016 at the museum.  The presentations are delivered by VMNH curators, VMNH researchers, as well as VMNH research associates.  Geared towards audiences with a keen interest in science, the presentations also increase awareness of the varied and unique scientific career paths available for local students.

Date or time changes will be announced on the museum’s website at www.vmnh.net/science-talks.


2016 Series Schedule

Thursday, March 10, 2016
"A Neanderthal's perspective on the existence of ‘races’ among modern humans"
Presented by Dr. Charles P. Egeland, Assistant Professor, Biological Anthropology and Paleoanthropology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

For many years, anthropologists have grappled with the central paradox of "race". On the one hand, the nature of human variation seriously undermines the biological reality of racial categories. On the other hand, it is evident that one's race, as a marker of status, identity, or heritage, is real and, thus, really matters. In this presentation, we will step back nearly 35,000 years, when the last Neanderthals roamed Ice Age Eurasia, to explore what these extinct humans can teach us about race and, ultimately, what it means to be human in today's world.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
"How do we protect what we have?"
Presented by Tiffany Haworth, Executive Director, Dan River Basin Association

Our natural resources are vital to the survival and continuation of life on this planet.  During this presentation, Tiffany Haworth will discuss conservation priorities and how they are determined, as well as what the current priorities in Virginia and the Dan River Basin are.

Thursday, May 12, 2016
"The importance of museums in the 21st century"
Presented by Dr. Joe B. Keiper, Executive Director, VMNH

Museums serve a vital role in new discoveries and past history.  In this presentation, Dr. Keiper will discuss the traditional reasons to have museums, the decline of collections facilities, the tangible benefits of museums to societal problems, and how to best manage museums as we move forward.

Tags: History, Insider's Tips, Local Business, Martinsville, Martinsville Uptown, Museums, Virginia Museum of Natural History