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April 20, 2020

Neil Shubin

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Cabot Science Library welcome NEIL SHUBIN—bestselling author of Your Inner Fish and professor of organismal biology at the University of Chicago—for a discussion of his latest book, Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA.


Over billions of years, ancient fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and apelike primates evolved into humans that walk on two legs, talk, and write. For more than a century, paleontologists have traveled the globe to find fossils that show how such changes have happened.

We have now arrived at a remarkable moment—prehistoric fossils coupled with new DNA technology have given us the tools to answer some of the basic questions of our existence: How do big changes in evolution happen? Is our presence on Earth the product of mere chance? This new science reveals a multibillion-year evolutionary history filled with twists and turns, trial and error, accident and invention.

In Some Assembly Required, Neil Shubin takes readers on a journey of discovery spanning centuries, as explorers and scientists seek to understand the origins of life's immense diversity.

About Author(s)

Neil Shubin is the author of Some Assembly RequiredYour Inner Fish, and The Universe Within. He is the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. He lives in Chicago.