Popular Geneticist to Chronicle the Rise of a 'Brave Genius' at Scripps Lecture

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Widely acclaimed biologist and popular book author Sean B. Carroll, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin, will describe the adventures of Jacques Monod, a co-founder of molecular biology, from the dark years of German occupation in Paris to the heights of winning the Nobel Prize, during the Richard H. and Glenda G. Rosenblatt Lectureship in Evolutionary Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

The event is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2015, at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society, and the Environment (Scripps Seaside Forum) on the Scripps Oceanography campus (8610 Kennel Way, La Jolla, CA 92037). The event is free (seating is available on a limited basis) and the public is invited.

Carroll is the ninth Rosenblatt Lecturer and the first to give the Rosenblatt Lecture since the Oct. 30, 2014, passing of Richard Rosenblatt, the renowned ichthyologist and curator emeritus of the Marine Vertebrates Collection. Rosenblatt’s wife, Glenda, who also worked at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, died in April 2014. Contributions from Richard and Glenda established the lectureship, which began in 2005. A memorial service for Richard Rosenblatt will be held at the Scripps Seaside Forum at 1 p.m. on Jan. 15 (preceding the Rosenblatt Lecture with Sean Carroll).

Carroll, an award-winning scientist, writer, educator, and executive producer, conducts research on the genetic components of evolution and development (“evo-devo”). He studies the molecular mechanisms that lead to new traits and species, as well as the genes that control animal body patterns and play significant roles in the evolution of animal diversity.

His Rosenblatt lecture (and similarly themed 2013 book), “Brave Genius: A Scientist’s Journey from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize,” will describe Monod’s groundbreaking research and dangerous double life in Nazi-occupied Paris. The presentation will also focus on Monod’s emergence as a public figure and leading voice of science.

Known for his public speaking and prominence in science communication on radio and TV, Carroll is the architect of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) $60 million science filmmaking initiative and currently serves as vice president for science education at HHMI. He has been the executive producer and/or on-screen presenter in more than a dozen films, including the new documentary “Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink” now airing on the Smithsonian Channel. He also served as the scientific consulting producer of a two-hour NOVA special based on two of his books on evolution and for the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

Carroll has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences, been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For his educational efforts, he received the Stephen Jay Gould Prize for the advancement of the public understanding of evolution, the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, and the Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Learn more about the Rosenblatt Lecture.

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