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Being Human: Born and Evolved to Run

Speaker(s): Daniel Lieberman,

San Francisco, CA

July 28, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


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Why did humans become such efficient long-distance runners? How can runners avoid injury? Join Daniel Lieberman on July 28th for Being Human: Born and Evolved to Run and learn about the evolution of endurance running.

Humans and our recent ancestors have been accomplished endurance runners for more than a million years, and this evolutionary history as runners partly accounts for why aerobic exercise is such a key component of human health. However, despite our long history as runners, studies suggest that at least 30% of runners get injured each year!

Join us as we explore how the human body evolved to run and how evolutionary insights can be used to prevent many kinds of injuries.


Mix, Mingle and Learn
6:00-7:00pm Mix and mingle with your fellow humans! Enjoy a fully-stocked bar of beer, wine, and delicious cocktails. Visit The Leakey Foundation’s Skeletal Anatomy Table and learn about the unique characteristics of our anatomy that make bipedal walking and running possible.

Born and Evolved to Run
7:05-7:30pm Why are we such efficient long-distance runners? In this talk Daniel Lieberman explores the evolutionary roots of running. Learn how the human body evolved to run and how evolutionary insights can make you a better runner. Daniel Lieberman’s research has been featured on the Colbert Report and in the book Born to Run.

Human skelegon running, radigraphy sequence

Daniel Lieberman’s Skeletal Biology Lab
7:40-8:10pm Daniel Lieberman brings his Harvard Skeletal Biology Lab  to Public Works. Lieberman and his colleague Ian Wallace will be demonstrating the biomechanics of running on stage using a treadmill and participation from audience volunteers. Read more about Daniel Lieberman’s Skeletal Biology Lab.

Question and Answer Session
8:10-8:30pm Dr. Daniel Lieberman will answer all of your questions about running, human evolution, and health.
This event has limited seating which is available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors do not open until 6:00pm.

21+ event, ID required for entry


July 28, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


The Leakey Foundation


Public Works
161 Erie Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
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Daniel Lieberman

Daniel Lieberman is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University, and a member of the Scientific Executive Committee of The Leakey Foundation. His research is on how and why the human body is the way it is, with particular foci on the origins of bipedalism, how humans became superlative endurance runners, and the evolution of the highly unusual human head.

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Being Human: Born and Evolved to Run

08.15.16 Guest Post, Being Human
Running. Some people love it, getting in the zone and enjoying that “runner’s high”. Some people tolerate it as a necessary way to stay fit. Others, and I admit I’m in this camp, can’t see the appeal, unless they’re being chased by some terrifying beast or a swarm of bees….