This year's Kristine Bonnevie lecturers are Meave Leakey and Alan Alda
”Milestones in the story of us – why and when did we come to be?” is the title of Meave Leakey's talk. Alan Alda, for me best known as “Hawkeye” Pierce in M*A*S*H, will talk about ”Getting beyond a blind data with science”.
The story of us
This year's first Kristine Bonnevie lecture, given by Meave Leakey, is about our own identity, who we are, and why we did evolve the skills we have today. Leakey is Professor at Stony Brook University in New York and Director at Turkana Basin Institute in Nairobi in Kenya. She will talk about research that has led to many advances in the understanding of the history of mankind.
Through excavations in Turkana, Kenya, Meave Leakey and her team described “Australopithecus anamensis” proving that humans went on two legs around 4.2 million years ago. She also led the team that found and described the new species “Kenyanthropus platyops”. This work showed that “Australopithecus afarensis” is not the only possible candidate as our ancestor. Her lecture is titled "Milestones in the story of us - why and when did we come to be?"
This year's second Kristine Bonnevie lecture, given by Alan Alda, is about science communication. Alda is probably best known for Norwegians through his role as "Hawkeye" Pierce in the TV series M * A * S * H. He has a long career as an actor, author and director, but he is also concerned with science communication. As a founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communication of Science, he uses his experience as an actor to teach scientists how to improve their public communication. In 2016 he was awarded the Public Welfare Medal by the American Academy of Sciences for his efforts in science communication. He lecture is titled "Getting beyond a blind date with science".
Kristine E.H. Bonnevie (1872-1948) was Norway's first female professor and the first woman who was a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences. Her research was within genetics, embryonic development and cell biology. Bonnevies scientific work is still cited, but she was also an enthusiastic communicator both in radio and at public meetings around the country. The building which houses the Department of Biosciences at the University of Oslo, carries her name.
This year's Kristine Bonnevie lectures will be held in Helga Eng's house, and the sessions start at 10:15 A.M in Auditorium 1. Vice-rector Per Morten Sandset will give the opening remarks, and Nils Chr. Stenseth, director of CEES, will moderate the debate after the lectures by Meave Leakey and Alan Alda. This event is part of the University’s annual celebration.