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An Evening with Adam Rutherford

The bestselling author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived investigates what it means to be human—and animal.


This March, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Dr. Adam Rutherford to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Humanimal: How Homo sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

Evolutionary theory has long established that humans are animals: Modern Homo sapiens are primates who share an ancestor with monkeys and other great apes. Our genome is 98 percent identical to a chimpanzee’s. And yet we think of ourselves as exceptional. Are we?

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores the profound paradox of the “human animal.” Looking for answers across the animal kingdom, he finds that many things once considered exclusively human are not: In Australia, raptors have been observed starting fires to scatter prey; in Zambia, a chimp named Julie even started a “fashion” of wearing grass in one ear. We aren’t the only species that communicates, makes tools, or has sex for reasons other than procreation. But we have developed a culture far more complex than any other we’ve observed. Why has that happened, and what does it say about us?

Humanimal is a new evolutionary history—a synthesis of the latest research on genetics, sex, migration, and much more. It reveals what unequivocally makes us animals—and also why we are truly extraordinary.

About the Author:

Adam Rutherford, PhD, is a science writer and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first known genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. His previous books are A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived—finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction—and Creation, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. He writes and presents BBC’s flagship weekly Radio 4 program Inside Science; The Cell for BBC Four; and Playing God (on the rise of synthetic biology) for the leading science series Horizon; in addition to writing for the Guardian.

Adam Rutherford.credit Stefan Jakubowski.jpg
Earlier Event: March 22
Nathaniel Gadsden's Spoken Word Cafe
Later Event: March 23
Shawan Rice in Concert