December 18, 2018
Paleoanthropologist Dr. Rick Potts founded and directs the Human Origins
Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. In partnership with the National Museums of Kenya, Rick leads ongoing excavations in southern and western Kenya. After receiving his PhD in biological anthropology at Harvard University in 1982, he taught at Yale before joining the Smithsonian in 1985. Rick’s research investigates Earth’s environmental dynamics and the processes that have led to human evolutionary adaptations. His ideas about the effect of environmental instability on human evolution have stimulated new studies in Earth sciences, paleontology, and biology. He is curator of the Smithsonian’s Hall of Human Origins, and author of the exhibition’s volume What Does It Mean to Be Human?