Cleveland, Lucy, and Human Origins

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Friday October 25

5:30 PM  –  8:00 PM

Dr. Donald Johanson, Founding Director and Virginia M Ullman Chair in Human Origins, Arizona State University

In early 1975, the 3.2-million-year-old hominin fossil known as “Lucy” arrived in Cleveland, where she and hundreds of other fossils would spend the next five years. Dr. Donald Johanson’s lab at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History became a hotbed of activity as scientists traveled from all over the world to see the collection. Forty-five years later, Dr. Johanson will share his story of the excitement and controversy of the “golden age” of paleoanthropology. He will reflect on Lucy’s role as ambassador to the past and her profound impact on the field of human origins.

Dr. Donald Johanson discovered the famous “Lucy” fossil in Ethiopia in 1974. Revising our understanding of human evolution, the 3.2-million-year-old skeleton (Australopithecus afarensis) remains the benchmark to which all hominid discoveries are compared. After establishing the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Dr. Johanson moved to Berkeley, CA, where he founded the Institute of Human Origins. IHO is now based at Arizona State University, where Dr. Johanson serves as the Virginia M Ullman Chair in Human Origins.


5:30 PM: Enjoy complimentary light appetizers and a cash bar. Meals are available for purchase at Exploration: A Zack Bruell Restaurant, located off the Museum's main lobby.

7 PM: Presentation begins in Murch Auditorium, followed by questions and answers.

Parking: Special event parking rates apply.

Admission: Members: $10; nonmembers: $12; College students: $6. 

Member discounts will be reflected in cart.