at the art and darwin symposium we had a great presentation
by Jean Gagnepin, director of the pregistory museum at Quinson
<http://www.museeprehistoire.com/>he gave an intersting presentation on
human pre history
and how its study is being revolutionised by both genetic
science but also new discoveries of prehistoric sites
this news release feeds into his presentation
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kathy Carr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 4:37 AM
Subject: 2009 Kistler Prize to Dr. Svante Pääbo
*Foundation For the Future to Award $100,000 Kistler Prize to Dr. Svante* *
BELLEVUE, WA, October 27, 2009 - Foundation For the Future has selected Dr.
Svante Pääbo* *as the 2009 winner of the Kistler Prize. The Prize has been
awarded annually since 2000 to honor original work that significantly
increases knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the human
genome and society. Dr. Svante* *Pääbo, a biologist specializing in
evolutionary genetics, is Director of the Department of Genetics at Max
Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Lepzig, Germany.
Dr. Pääbo is being honored for a body of work with ancient DNA, beginning in
1984 with the demonstrations of DNA survival in a 2,400-year-old mummy. He
developed and refined the techniques used to isolate and sequence ancient
DNA, thus playing a key role in creating the field of molecular
paleontology. In 1997 he and his colleagues reported the first successful
analysis of DNA from Neanderthal bones, and in 2006 he launched a project to
commence the sequencing of the complete Neanderthal genome. By early 2009,
the first draft version of the Neanderthal genome had been completed, with
over 3 billion base pairs sequenced. Dr. Pääbo has helped not only to
clarify the nature of the relationship between humans and Neanderthals, but
also to uncover genetic changes in the transformation from nonhuman primates
to modern humans. For example, he is known for his research on the evolution
of the FOXP2 gene that is implicated in the development of language.
"Dr. Pääbo's work is of a pioneering nature in terms of connecting the
science of genetics with human evolution at very basic levels," said Sesh
Velamoor, Foundation For the Future Director of Programs. "His work takes on
the macro issues of the origins of humans and why modern humans composed an
evolutionary experiment that worked while other near species did not.
Answers to these questions aid significantly in our understanding of
humanity and how genetics has impacted human society."
The Kistler Prize includes a cash award of US$100,000 and a 180-gram gold
medallion. It is named for Walter P. Kistler, President and benefactor of
Foundation For the Future, who will formally present the 2009 award to Dr.
Pääbo in a gala banquet and ceremony in Seattle, October 29, 2009. The
invitation-only event is expected to draw scientists, social scientists, and
other scholars from all over the world.
Besides the Kistler Prize, Foundation For the Future also awards the Walter
P. Kistler Book Award, Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, and
Walter P. Kistler Science Teacher Award. The Foundation convenes seminars,
workshops, and symposia that focus on the long-term future of humanity, and
it is presently developing a four-program television documentary series
entitled *The Next Thousand Years*. This fall it launched the new Walter P.
Kistler Lecture Series. It also funds research programs, publishes scholarly
works, and undertakes public awareness and education programs concerning the
long-term future of humanity. Details on its activities are available at
Trustee & Director of Programs
Mgr., Public Relations
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