Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Human Evolution and Media Attention

Darren Curnoe

It’s probably a truism to suggest that the study of human evolution gets more that its fair share of media attention and hype.

Brace yourself!

There’s more on the way this week, with a set of seven papers out in the journal Science providing new details about the anatomy and evolution of almost 2.0 million-year-old Australopithecus sediba specimens from South Africa.

The find raises many questions about the scientific and public prominence of human evolution research and about the remarkable and unprecedented space provided to sediba in one of the scientific establishment’s top journals.

Unprecedented exposure

Many of my palaeontology and evolutionary biology colleagues wonder why it is that fossils belonging to the human evolutionary bush (“hominins”) get so much space in prestigious scientific journals like Nature and Science when sometimes scientifically more significant discoveries struggle to get a look in at these high profile outlets.

Read it all here.

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