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Exploring Who We Are: Public Engagement on Human Evolution

Tuesday, March 19, 2019,

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  • Location: Student Life Center Ballrooms

Part of a two-day science communication event sponsored by the AAAS, Vanderbilt Graduate School, Russell G. Hamilton Leadership Institute & Communication of Science and Technology Program

Dr. Pobiner of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will discuss her experiences exploring ways to promote conversation around the question "what does it mean to be human?" through her efforts leading public engagement activities in the Smithsonian's Hall of Human Origins, involvement with a traveling public library exhibit on human origins, and research on the teaching and learning of human evolution in US high school biology classrooms. 

Dr. Briana Pobiner Bio: Briana Pobiner is a paleoanthropologist whose research centers on the evolution of human diet (with a focus on meat-eating), but has included topics as diverse as cannibalism in the Cook Islands and chimpanzee carnivory. She joined the Smithsonian in 2005 to help establish the Hall of Human Origins at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). In addition to continuing her active field, laboratory, and experimental research programs, she leads the Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts as well as public programming, website content, social media, and exhibition volunteer training. Briana has also developed a formal research program on evolution education and science communication. Briana has a BA from Bryn Mawr College (1997), where she created her own major called Evolutionary Studies, and an MA (2002) and PhD (2007) in Anthropology from Rutgers University. In addition to her position at the NMNH, Briana is an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University.