Darwinism expert to present lecture

One of Britain’s best-known proponents of Darwinism and evolutionary theory will be sharing his typically forthright views at a special event in Lincoln.

Professor of Genetics, science writer, broadcaster and supporter of humanism, Steve Jones, will be giving a lecture entitled “Is Man just another Animal? The View from the Genes” at the University of Lincoln on 5th March, 2013.

Professor Jones is best known to the general public as a broadcaster and writer of popular science books. He 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, In Our Time, Any Questions, Start the Week, Late Review and Newsnight, and writes a regular column in The Daily Telegraph.

As Professor Jones says, he is one of the world’s six greatest experts on the evolutionary genetics of land snails (and the other five agree). He also has an interest in human genetics and evolution and is recognised for his staunch and outspoken defence of science against the “anti-science”, creationism included.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2008, Professor Jones said: “It is my profound hope (likely to be disappointed) that teachers and everyone else should learn to stop treating Darwin as a prophet, or a pariah, or a philosopher, or even as a trained ecclesiastic who turned to atheism – and just take him for what he was, the greatest biologist in history. He made biology into a single science linked by the idea of evolution, rather than a bunch of ideologies.”

Professor Jones is an Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics at the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London and has also held 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.

His many awards include the Rhone-Poulenc book prize and the Yorkshire Post first book prize in 1994; the Royal Society Faraday Medal for public understanding of science in 1997; the BP Natural World Book Prize in 1999 and 2000; the Institute of Biology Charter Medal in 2002; and the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dr Rajiv Machado, who invited Professor Jones to the University, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to hear from one of the best renowned theorists in evolutionary genetics of our generation. We are extremely lucky to have Professor Jones present a lecture to the University and I have no doubt that it will be informative, thought-provoking and progressive.”

Professor Jones will be giving his guest lecture to an invited audience from 4pm in the Co-op Lecture Theatre.