A recent Gallup poll showed that for the first time since 1982, a slim majority of Americans included some flavour of evolutionary thinking in their beliefs about the origin of humans. But why is this figure so low when discoveries in human evolution consistently garner widespread press coverage? What are the barriers to acceptance of evolution, and how can they be overcome? The non-conflict approach that Briana and her team practice at the Smithsonian seems to be showing promising results. Briana leads the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts.
Briana Pobiner is an associate research professor of anthropology at George Washington University. Her research centres on the evolution of the human diet, but has included cannibalism in the Cook Islands, and chimpanzee carnivory. She has undertaken fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Indonesia. Pobiner joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in 2005. In addition to continuing her active field, lab, and experimental work, she leads the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx