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Home > Calendar > Event Detail: Author Talk: First Steps

Author Talk
with Jeremy DeSilva, featuring
First Steps: How Upright
Walking Made Us Human

Join author and paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva as he weaves together a highly engaging evolutionary story exploring how walking on two legs allowed humans to become the planet’s dominant species.

First Steps explores the unusual and extraordinary nature of walking on two legs.

A seven-million-year journey to the very origins of the human lineage, First Steps shows how upright walking was a gateway to many of the other attributes that make us human—our technological abilities, our thirst for exploration, our use of language–and may have laid the foundation for our species’ traits of compassion, empathy, and altruism. Moving from developmental psychology labs to ancient fossil sites throughout Africa and Eurasia, DeSilva brings to life our adventure walking on two legs.

​About the Author

Jeremy “Jerry” DeSilva is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. He is a paleoanthropologist, specializing in the locomotion of the first apes (hominoids) and early human ancestors (hominins). His particular anatomical expertise–the human foot and ankle–has contributed to our understanding of the origins and evolution of upright walking in the human lineage. He has studied wild chimpanzees in Western Uganda and early human fossils at sites throughout Eastern and South Africa.

From 1998-2003, Jeremy worked as an educator at the Boston Museum of Science and continues to be passionate about science education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Montshire Museum of Science. Jeremy lives in Norwich, Vermont with his wife, Erin, and their two kids, Benjamin and Josephine.

This program is produced in partnership by the Montshire Museum of Science and the Norwich Bookstore.

First Steps may be purchased by visiting the Norwich Bookstore or the Montshire Museum of Science’s Museum Store.