Gustavus Adolphus was the king of Sweden and founder of the Swedish Empire from the age of seventeen until he his death at the age of 37, in 1632. He looked, as a testosterone-ridden teenager, at vast unconquered lands, at his large and experienced army, and noticing that he was in charge of everything, made a run at taking over the world. He left Sweden with his army and never looked back.
Meanwhile, well, a couple of centuries later, Alfred Nobel was busy inventing TNT and establishing the Nobel Prizes for this and that. Eventually, like chocolate and peanut butter fortuitously joining together to make Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, a small liberal arts college in southern Minnesota … Gustavus Adolphus College … and the Nobel Prize concept … have joined together to make an annual event called The Nobel Conference. This year, they are calling it “The 2008 Nobel Conference: Who were the first humans.”
And yours truly will be there, October 7-8.
Gustavus (the college) is the Alma Matter of Amanda, and she has taken her her high school biology students to the conference almost every year for a few years. This year, teaching at a new school, this has not been worked out. Rather, she’ll be taking the science faculty down. I will try to make myself scarce so she won’t have to explain anything to anybody, in case they run into me.
This year’s presenters include Robin Dunbar, Marcus Feldman, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Curtis Marean, Svante Paabo, and Dennis Stanford. Svante, sorry I’ve got not umlats over your a’s but I’m writing this in Movable Type. I’m sure you understand.
I have two good Curtis Marean stories. Someday maybe I will tell them on this very blog.
The web site for the conference is here. Have a look, consider going!