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ASU hosts inaugural meeting for evolutionary medicine experts

Randolph Nesse
March 16, 2015

Arizona State University will host a premiere opportunity to engage and mingle with luminaries in the burgeoning field of evolutionary medicine – a new interdisciplinary approach that is becoming an essential perspective in our view of disease, today's medical practice and the worldwide impact on public health – as it hosts the inaugural International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health Meeting, March 19-21, in Tempe, Arizona.

"This is the inaugural meeting for a brand new scientific society," said Randolph Nesse, who directs the new Center for Evolution & Medicine at ASU and is serving as the meeting co-sponsor and organizer. "Worldwide, the scientific community is excited to come together and meet for the very first time, as the field of evolutionary medicine is growing exponentially. We have almost 300 people already registered, and hope others will join us to explore some of the most probing and pertinent discussions of major societal issues at the nexus of evolution, medicine and public health."

This meeting will bring together scientists, scholars, teachers, clinicians and students in the evolution and medicine community to share ideas and create new connections that will advance the field. Students and clinicians with an interest in the field are welcome to attend.

A pre-meeting will take place from noon-5 p.m., March 18, for the first gathering of all current directors of evolutionary medicine programs, centers and institutes, and those who are considering organizing such units. The event, organized by Randolph Nesse, Gillian Bentley, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Daniel Blumstein and Frank Rühli, will provide an informal opportunity to share strategies and resources and coordinate efforts.

The format for the March 19-21 meetings will include a mix of invited speakers, shorter presentations organized into topical areas and poster sessions.

The Thursday, March 19 meeting will be held at the Memorial Union on ASU's Tempe campus. The presentations will be followed by a reception, a poster session and entertainment. Thursday's events are free and open to the public with reservation at

Friday's and Saturday's meetings will be held at the scenic Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. These sessions are reserved for registered conference participants.

There will also be a special performance by the only National Science Foundation, peer-reviewed recording artist, performer Baba Brinkman. He will present the world premiere of his "Rap Guide to Evolutionary Medicine."

Plenary lectures from leaders in this evolutionary medicine field, and more than 72 oral presentations and 60 poster presentations have been scheduled to date.

The inaugural meeting and the society are sponsored by The Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health. The foundation also sponsors Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health, an Oxford University Press journal edited by Stephen Stearns, and The Evolution & Medicine Review, edited by Randolph Nesse. The Center for Evolution & Medicine at Arizona State University is the meeting co-sponsor. Charlie Nunn (Duke University) chairs the program committee. Other committee members include Cynthia Beall (Case Western Reserve University) and Randolph Nesse.

For general information, accommodations for hotel, travel and registration for the event, visit

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