Lucy 50—A Year for Human Origins

The 50th Anniversary of the “Lucy” Discovery—A Celebration of How We "Became Human"

Celebrate 2024: A Year for Human Origins

Join the ASU Institute of Human Origins as we dedicate a year to the world’s greatest mystery story—how we “became human.” Explore with us what our first bipedal ancestor continues to teach us about our ancient common past, our challenging present, and our boundless future.

  • A celebration of the extraordinary discovery of “Lucy,” which provided the first documented proof that our human ancestors walked upright on two feet at least as early as 3.2 million years ago
  • A discovery that ignited a worldwide interest in our origins and changed the way we think about human history on Earth—why did Homo sapiens flourish as other ancient ancestor species went extinct?
  • A thought-provoking exploration into a better understanding of our unique responsibility as stewards of the planet and how our ability to adapt and cooperate will be key to surviving and thriving in the future.

Engage and Participate

Public Lecture—Donald Johanson at the Mesa Art Center

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Second Annual Bill Kimbel Distinguished Lecture 

Thursday, April 4, 2024
Mesa Arts Center
7:00 pm

Donald Johanson will engage the audience with the story of "Lucy's" discovery, the controversies of naming a new species, and how this small but complicated ancient human ancestor changed the way we think about humans developed on Earth. Johanson is also a strong advocate for the human species to rekindle our sense of responsibility for the natural world in today's climate and environmental challenges. VIP tickets with pre-lecture reception will be available.

Begun in 2022 to honor the legacy of former IHO Director William H. Kimbel, this lecture will annually raise funds to support the Bill Kimbel Impact Fund. 

A Night with Don and "Lucy"—Lakeside at the Phoenix Zoo

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Save the Date—April 5, 2024

Join IHO for an engaging evening as IHO Founding Director Donald Johanson gives you the inside story about the Lucy discovery and his ideas on human's responsibility to our planet today. 

This event benefits the ASU Institute of Human Origins' public outreach programs. Become an event sponsor and be seated with scientists and internationally known experts in anthropology from ASU and around the world. Buy a ticket, sponsor a table, sponsor the event!

Public Symposium—Lucy's Impact on Human Origins Science

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International Symposium
Saturday, April 6, 2024

Prominent human origins scientists from around the world will gather to deliver a short talks on how the discovery of Lucy 50 years ago impacted their speciality in human evolution. Specifically, scientists will discuss the discovery's impact through time, starting with the first few years after the discovery, the lasting impact, and the state of the art in that research area. 

The day-long symposium is free and will be broadcast over ASU Live. Stay tuned for more information.