The Thoughtful Animal

i-77f2aabde5a735f913624406591f9692-johnlong-thumb-200x235-58529.jpgA fun talk about sex, death and evolution at LA’s Natural History Museum. It’s free and ticketless — so please bring friends and colleagues!

WHEN: Thursday, December 2, 6-7:30pm.

WHERE: LA Natural History Museum in the Times Mirror Room.

WHAT: Australian paleontologist John A. Long is the recently appointed vice president of research and collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Long has been actively engaged in research on the early evolution of fish and dinosaurs. In 2001 Dr. Long won the Eureka Prize for the Public Promotion of Science.

This is how Caltech described a recent talk by Dr. Long:

In this riveting story about his remarkable discoveries from the Gogo fossil site in the Kimberly district of Western Australia, the Australian paleontologist John Long, now Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County, takes us beyond just reconstructing animal morphology and into the realm of restoring ancient behavior. Long drills down deep on how we know what we know about the past, what the boundaries of knowledge are with respect to studying fossils, and how exceptional fossils contribute to reshaping our perspectives on evolution. Dr. Long, the author of the classic books The Rise of the Fishes and Swimming in Stone, compares the Hollywood view of evolution versus the scientific visage of natural history. As well, Dr. Long will explore how complex ideas in science — such as global climate change — are easily dismissed by those who are skeptical of the scientific consensus that global warming is real because the basic level of scientific literacy to begin to understand the problem involves a high level of either multidisciplinary knowledge or a high level of trust in science and how it works.

(h/t Kate Gammon)