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Author brings search for origins to ASU

February 17, 2010

Sean B. Carroll, author of “Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species” – named as one of five finalists for the 2009 National Book Award for nonfiction – will present a public lecture of the same title at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18 at Arizona State University.

The lecture, held in Neeb Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus, is free with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is at

The lecture is hosted by the Origins Project at ASU, which named Carroll an Origins Distinguished Visiting Scientist. Last month, the Origins Project brought to campus Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek. He visited with students and faculty and presented two public lectures.

“We have Professor Carroll visiting ASU on the occasion of our workshop on the origins of human uniqueness, in partnership with the Institute for Human Origins and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change,” said Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Initiative at ASU. Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, is a professor in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences where he is a faculty member in the Physics Department and the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Carroll is a professor of molecular biology and genetics and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His research has centered on the genes that control animal body patterns and play major roles in the evolution of animal diversity.

Carroll has authored several bestselling books, including “The Making of the Fittest” and “Endless Forms Most Beautiful.” His 2009 book, “Remarkable Creatures,” tells the stories of the most dramatic expeditions and important discoveries in two centuries of natural history – from the epic journeys of pioneering naturalists to the breakthroughs making headlines today – and how they inspired and have expanded one of the greatest ideas of modern science: evolution.

Readers encounter creatures of the past and present, including giant sloths, gaudy butterflies and dinosaurs. According to Carroll’s Web site, “the most remarkable creatures in these stories are the men and women. They are, without exception, remarkable people who have experienced and accomplished extraordinary things.”

In addition to his books, Carroll also writes a monthly feature “Remarkable Creatures” for the New York Times “Science Times.”