Upcoming Lectures & Events

The Evolution of Human Skin Color: What We Know and How We Can Talk About It

Duke University Club EvMed (Virtual Evolutionary Medicine Conversations)

Monday July 6, 2020 12PM

Join us for a conversation with Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. Human skin color is an adaptive trait related to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the earth’s surface. In the last 20 years, understanding of the trait has improved significantly, with great strides made in understanding its genetic basis and functions. Because of the importance of skin color in human health and, historically, in defining human races, we have also made strides in talking about it and educating the public, through formal and informal methods. In this discussion, we’ll survey the state of knowledge about the evolution of human skin color and talk about how we can educate constructively about the trait and its meanings to all audiences. Attendees are encouraged to read Quillen et al. 2018, “Shades of complexity: New perspectives on the evolution and genetic architecture of human skin” and Jablonski and Chaplin 2010, “Human skin pigmentation as an adaptation to UV radiation” for background. Sign up here for the zoom meeting link.




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