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Noted Science Author and Journalist Carl Zimmer to Speak about
Human Evolution, June 9 at the MBL

Carl Zimmer
WOODS HOLE, MA - Carl Zimmer, author of several popular science books, frequent writer for The New York Times, and contributing editor for Discover magazine, will present a special lecture at the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) on Friday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture, titled "Where Do We Come From? Human Origins in a Controversial Age" is sponsored by the MBL Science Journalism Program and is free and open to the public. Copies of Zimmer's books will be available for purchase in the Lillie lobby, and Zimmer will sign books following the lecture.

Evolution has long been a source of controversy in the United States, and recent court cases and attempts to introduce creationism into classrooms show that it is as controversial as ever. Ironically, however, this controversy is flaring up even as huge amounts of new evidence are now confirming once again that evolution is real. Some of the best evidence comes from our own species. Zimmer will explore some of the most fascinating discoveries about where we came from, based on evidence ranging from fossils to genomes. He'll also demonstrate how this evidence lets us understand the workings of evolution better, and helps reveal, says Zimmer, "the emptiness of creationism in its many guises."

Zimmer is the author of five books about science. His first book, At the Water's Edge (1999) followed scientists as they tackled two of the most intriguing evolutionary puzzles of all: how fish walked ashore, and how whales returned to the sea. It was followed in 2000 by Parasite Rex, which explores the bizarre world of nature's most successful life forms. In 2001 he published Evolution: The Triumph of An Idea, the companion volume to a PBS television series. It was named one of the best science books of the year by both Discover and New Scientist.

Zimmer's Soul Made Flesh, published in 2004, chronicled the dawn of neurology in the 1600s. The Sunday Telegraph calls it a "tour-de-force," and it was named one of the 100 notable books of 2004 by the New York Times Book Review. His latest book is Smithsonian Guide to Human Evolution, published in November 2005. He is currently writing a book about E. coli and the meaning of life.

Zimmer writes regularly about science for The New York Times, as well as for magazines including The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Science, Newsweek, Natural History, and Discover, where he is a contributing editor. His book reviews appear in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Newsday, and Scientific American. Zimmer frequently lectures about science, and has appeared on numerous radio programs, including Fresh Air and This American Life.

Zimmer's lecture is sponsored by the MBL Science Journalism Program. Now in its 21st year, the program allows promising science journalists from around the globe to "step into the shoes of the scientists they cover," by awarding them fellowships to live and study at the laboratory. During their residencies at the MBL, fellows learn what science is like from the inside out - as students and researchers in the MBL's cutting-edge summer courses and laboratories. This August, five fellows will also travel with MBL scientists to the North Slope of Alaska's Brooks Range to learn more about climate change research and other environmental studies being conducted at a field site located on Toolik Lake.


The MBL is an international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu.