What was Lucy’s Impact on Human Origins?
Lucy 50th Anniversary Symposium

Saturday, April 6, 2024
Walton Center for Planetary Health Auditorium
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

You must register to attend in person—RSVP here.

Watch the symposium on ASU Live.

Lucy is one of the most famous fossils of all time. The discovery of this species had a major impact on the science of human origins and evolution. Why? What was that impact?

The symposium speakers—each a prominent scientist in their field—will address this question and specifically 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 today.

Speakers and their general topics include (specific talk titles may change):

Before Lucy: The state of knowledge on human origins
Donald Johanson, Founding Director, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of how we became human?
Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus, American Museum of Natural History

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of the “savannah hypothesis”?
Kaye Reed, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of the sequence of encephalization and bipedality?
Carol Ward, University of Missouri

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of the origins of toolmaking?
Tracy Kivell, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

What was Lucy’s impact on the development of African paleosciences?
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Director, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of other australopith relatives?
Bernard Wood, George Washington University

What was Lucy’s impact on the use of other primates as a behavioral model for human origins?
Melissa Emery-Thompson, University of New Mexico

What was Lucy’s impact on the relation between fossils, evolutionary genetics, and the species concept?
Andra Meneganzin, Kaatholieke Universiteit Leuven

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of early hominin diet?
Jessica Thompson, Yale University

Lucy, The First Family, and the importance of site formation
Kay Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian Institution

What was Lucy’s impact on our understanding of human origins science and its appeal to the public?
Ann Gibbons, Science Magazine

What was Lucy’s impact on the development of African museums and heritage management?
Job Kibii, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi

Lessons Lucy continues to teach us
Zeray Alemseged, University of Chicago

 Download Symposium Poster 

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