Sean B. Carroll, vice president of science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), will deliver the 2019 Darwin Day Lecture titled “The Serengeti Rules: The Regulation and Restoration of Biodiversity” at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 in 101 Thomas Building. Carroll’s lecture will be followed by a reception from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Commons on the third floor of the Millennium Science Complex. Both events are free and open to the public.
Carroll is an award-winning and internationally-recognized evolutionary biologist, author, educator, and film producer. In addition to leading HHMI’s Department of Science Education, he serves as executive director of the institute’s Tangled Bank Studios and is the Andrew and Mary Balo and Nicholas and Susan Simon Endowed Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland. He is also Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin.
Carroll’s research focuses on the genes that control animal body patterns and play major roles in the evolution of animal diversity. He has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences, been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society; he is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.
A prominent science communicator in print, on radio, and on television, Carroll is the author of “The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters”; “Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize”; “Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species,” which was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award for non-fiction; “The Making of the Fittest”; and “Of Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo.” He has also served as executive producer or executive-in-charge of several feature documentary films or series, including “The Farthest,” “Amazon Adventure,” “The Lucky Specials,” “Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond,” “Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink,” and “Your Inner Fish.” His film work has garnered one Emmy and two additional Emmy nominations, while his literary contributions earned him Rockefeller University’s 2016 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science.
Darwin Day is an international celebration held each year around Charles Darwin’s birthday, Feb. 12, 1809, to recognize his contributions to science and to promote science in general. Carroll’s 2019 Darwin Day Lecture at Penn State is co-sponsored by The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the Center for Human Evolution and Diversity in the College of the Liberal Arts.