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Dr. Neil Shubin, Evolutionary Biologist

February 11, 2013 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Chicago’s own Dr. Neil Shubin has been one of the major forces behind a new evolutionary synthesis of expeditionary paleontology, developmental genetics, and genomics. He is the author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish.   ISC is now partnering with the Chicago Public Library to host Dr. Shubin discussing his new book THE UNIVERSE WITHIN: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People.  With this work he answers a scientific mystery story as big as the world itself:  How have astronomical events that took place millions of years ago created the unique qualities of the human species?

In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy-our hands, our jaws-and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago.  Now, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, he takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we are the way we are.  Starting once again with fossils, Shubin turns his gaze skyward.  He shows how the entirety of the universe’s 14-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies.  From our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system), he makes clear, through the working of our eyes, how the evolution of the cosmos has had profound effects on the development of human life on earth.

Neil Shubin and his colleague made one of the most important fossil discoveries in the history of the National Geographic Society when, in 2006, a team of scientists unveiled the discovery of Tiktaalik roseae, a fossil fish known as the ‘fishapod.’  This 375 million year-old fossil is the first example of the the first fish to venture out onto land. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and UC Berkeley, Shubin is currently associate dean of biological sciences at the University of Chicago.




February 11, 2013
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Illinois Science Council


Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60642 United States
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