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Discuss Recently Found Fossils at café Sci on Oct. 11


Three Senior Researchers To Present Highlights of Discovery of 4.4 Million-Year-Old Ethiopian Fossils

PITTSBURGH — On Monday, Oct. 11, Carnegie Science Center and Café Scientifique will welcome Owen Lovejoy from Kent State University, and Scott W. Simpson and Bruce Latimer from Case Western Reserve University, as they present “Recent Discoveries Fuel the Debate: Who WERE Our Earliest Ancestors?”

For many years people have pondered the questions, “Who are we?” and “Where did we come from?” These unknowns have led researchers and scientists on quests to discover the answers and unlock the keys to knowing how humans’ ancestors evolved, and what differentiates us from other species. This topic has produced extensive findings, as well as much debate.

Lovejoy, Simpson, and Latimer served as senior researchers during a recent discovery that may shed light on the evolution debate. Fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus that recently were recovered from the deserts of Ethiopia include a complete skeleton known as ’Ardi’. The 4.4 million-year-old fossils have garnered widespread interest and have sparked even more debate, causing scientists to rethink their models of human evolution and the evolution of the chimpanzee and gorilla. During Café Scientifique, the trio will share highlights of their discovery, as well as analysis and interpretation of what it could mean for future research.

“We are privileged to welcome these esteemed researchers to the Science Center and to Café Scientifique,” says Linda Ortenzo, director of the Regional SciTech Initiative and coordinator of Café Scientifique. “The evening certainly will be an enlightening one; evolution always sparks interesting debate, especially a high-profile discovery like ‘Ardi.’

On Nov. 1, Café Scientifique will welcome Don Marinelli from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. He will talk about his work and relationship with the late Randy Pausch as described in Marinelli’s new book, The Comet and the Tornado.

On Dec. 6, the featured speaker will be Arthur Ainsberg, co-author of the new book Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle.

He will delve into the book’s enthralling story, which was researched meticulously and is intended to appeal to readers of all ages and interests.

Science Center doors open at 6 pm; the presentation will begin at 7 pm and will conclude around 9 pm after a question-and-answer session. Dinner will be available to purchase for $8, including a vegetarian option. A cash bar also will be offered. Admission to Café Scientifique is free, but online registration for this event is recommended.

Café Scientifique is THE place in Pittsburgh where adults interested in science can get together to discuss today’s hot topics in a cool, casual setting. Each Café Scientifique event features eating, drinking, and informal discussion led by guest speakers who are experts in their fields. Doors open at 6 pm, and the program is 7–9 pm; Science Center doors close at 7:45 pm.

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center brings the world of science alive for visitors of all ages. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center features hands-on exhibits, three live demonstration theaters, a four-story Omnimax theater, Highmark SportsWorks®, an interactive full-dome digital planetarium, a Cold War-era submarine moored on Pittsburgh’s Ohio River, the world’s largest and most comprehensive robotics exhibition, and a world-renowned model railroad display. Carnegie Science Center is located at One Allegheny Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Shore next to Heinz Field. Visit, or call 412.237.3400 for more information.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. In 2009, the museums reached more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.


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