Wednesday, 11 February 2015, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Is Human Evolution Over?

Professor Steve Jones

Humans have evolved from ape-like ancestors over millions of years, of course; but also over thousands, for there are several cases in which we can identify natural selection - genetic changes in response to an environmental shift - over just a few millennia. 

Professor Jones has been criticised for saying that at least in the developed world, and at least for the time being, this process is over. But natural selection depends on differences in survival and reproduction and they have, more or less, gone away. Processes quite different from those of the past will shape our genetic future. 

Other lectures by Professor Steve Jones will be held on 28 January and 25 March.

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Professor Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London and an author of several popular science books. He is one of the world's top six experts on the genetics of snails (and the other five agree) and has also studied the genetics and evolution of fruit flies and humans.

Professor Jones was born in 1944 in Aberystwyth, Wales, and has degrees from the University of Edinburgh and University of Chicago. Much of his academic research has been concerned with snails and the light their anatomy can shed on biodiversity and genetics. He is Professor of genetics at Galton Laboratory of University College London, and has had visiting posts at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of California at Davis, University of Botswana, Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, and Flinders University in Adelaide.

Professor Jones is probably best known to the general public as a regular broadcaster and writer of popular books on scientific issues. He gave the 1991 Reith Lecture on "The Language of the Genes", has written and presented a Radio 3 series on science and the arts, "Blue Skies", and a TV series on human genetics, "In the Blood". He also appears on other radio and TV programmes, such as Today, Question Time, Late Review and Newsnight , and writes a regular column in The Daily Telegraph, "View from the Lab".

His many books include Genetics for Beginners (Icon Books), The Language of the Genes (HarperCollins), In The Blood (HarperCollins), Almost like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated (Anchor Books), Y: the Descent of Men (Little, Brown).

All of Professor Jones's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

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11 February 2015

Is Human Evolution Over?
Professor Steve Jones

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