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Evolution Preview To Air, Sept. 7

For most people, the word "evolution" triggers questions about the distant past. How did life originate? What does the fossil record mean? Did humans really evolve from apes?

But for many life scientists, evolution is the framework for all of biology. Evolution is very much a part of the here and now, underlying important health issues like virally transmitted diseases and resistance to life-saving antibiotics.

NIGMS and WGBH Boston will cosponsor a preview of a seven-part public television documentary on the science of evolution scheduled to air this fall. In hosting the preview, NIGMS aims to acquaint NIH staff with material appearing in the upcoming series, Evolution, so that the scientific community can be prepared to answer questions from the media, teachers and other members of the public.

The preview will be held Friday, Sept. 7 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 at 2:30 p.m. The program will be followed by a reception sponsored by the NIH Office of Science Education in the exhibit area of the Visitor Information Center lobby in Bldg. 10. Hosting the program will be evolutionary biologist and author Joseph Levine.

Beyond a television documentary, the Evolution project is a multimedia endeavor featuring an extensive educational outreach initiative. Also part of the initiative are classroom and teacher training materials, a hands-on web site (, and a HarperCollins companion book titled Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer (Parasite Rex). The Evolution television series will air nationwide Sept. 24-27 from 8 to 10 p.m. (in the Washington, D.C. area, watch WETA TV26; check local cable listings). The series will explain and illustrate the science of evolutionary biology, with many biomedically relevant examples.

Another preview of the series will be held at the National Science Foundation in Arlington on the morning of the NIH event. The Evolution project is coproduced by the WGBH Boston Science Unit and Clear Blue Sky Productions.

For more information, contact Alison Davis (908) 735-7207; or Irene Eckstrand 594-0943,

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