Two women scientists working at the National Museum of Natural History share their professional journeys.
Briana Pobiner, Ph.D. is a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History whose studies the evolution of human diets (with a focus on meat-eating), including topics as diverse as human cannibalism and chimpanzee carnivory. She has done conducted research in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Indonesia, Romania, and the US. Since joining the Smithsonian in 2005 to help put together the Hall of Human Origins, in addition to continuing her active field, laboratory, and experimental research programs, she leads the Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts which includes managing the Human Origins Program’s public programs, website content, social media, and exhibition volunteer training. Briana has also more recently developed a research program in evolution education and science communication. Briana received a BA from Bryn Mawr College, where she created an independent major called Evolutionary Studies, and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Rutgers University. She is also an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology in the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at the George Washington University.
This year, a group of Sinai and Synapses Fellows gathered on Darwin Day to offer their personal stories on how they have experienced the conflict between science and religion in their lives.
When it becomes increasingly difficult to comprehend time beyond a human lifespan or two, how can we gain an understanding of the past of our human species?