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The Evolution and Meanings of Human Skin Color

Speaker(s): Nina Jablonski

Houston, TX

September 27, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

$10 – $18
Buy Tickets Now!

Variation in human skin color has fascinated and perplexed people for centuries. As the most visible aspect of human variation, skin color has been used in the past as a basis for classifying people into “races.”

In this lecture, Nina Jablonski will discuss the evolution of human skin color and how color-based race concepts have influenced societies and social well-being. The evolution of human skin color is one of the best examples of natural selection acting on the human body. In the 200,000 year history of modern humans, similar skin colors have evolved independently numerous times in response to similar environmental conditions. Understanding the evolution and social importance of skin color can help eliminate color-based discrimination and racism.

This event is produced in partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

“Early Bird” tickets are $16 or $10 for Leakey Foundation supporters and museum members until September 19.

To receive the discount, call the museum box office at (713) 639-4629 and use the promo code “LECLeakeyFnd.”

Student Admission (at box office with valid student ID) – $8.00

Sponsored by:
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith


September 27, 2018
6:30 pm
$10 – $18
Event Category:


The Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030 United States
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(713) 639-4629
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Nina Jablonski

Nina G. Jablonski is the Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at the Pennsylvania State University. She is a biological anthropologist and paleoanthropologist who studies adaptations of primates to the environment. Her research focuses on the study of primate evolution and mammalian paleoecology. She has conducted research on Old World monkeys in China and Africa. Her work addresses questions not easily answered by the fossil record, such as the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation. Jablonski is the author of numerous scholarly papers and books. Her most recent book is Skin We Are In, a children’s book on the evolution and meaning of skin color. This book was co-authored with South African writer Sindiwe Magona. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa for her contribution to the worldwide fight against racism. Jablonski is a Leakey Foundation grantee and has served on the Foundation’s Scientific Executive Committee since 2016.

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