Evolutionary anthropologist to discuss public health


Anthropologist and author Kathryn Coe will discuss “Public Health from an Evolutionary Perspective,” at noon Friday, September 24, in room 258 of the Fine Arts building on the Binghamton University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The human body and mind evolved over millions of years in environments very different from those inhabited today. Our shared evolutionary heritage has important implications for public health in modern life, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious diseases, and behavior disorders. Coe will discuss why it is important to include evolutionary theory in public health training and practice, with an emphasis on disease prevention and health enhancement.

Coe obtained a bachelor’s degree in English in 1965, a master’s degree in anthropology in 1982, and a doctoral degree in anthropology and evolutionary biology in 1995, all from Arizona State University.

She spent much of her early career traveling and working with indigenous people in South America to preserve their art and culture. Her recent book, The Ancestress Hypothesis: Visual Art as Adaptation, is based on those experiences and discusses the role of visual arts in cultural processes. She currently divides her time between a very active career in public health and the academic study of art, both from an evolutionary perspective. She serves as assistant professor of public health, and director of the Shared Service for Special Populations at the University of Arizona.

Coe’s presentation is hosted by EvoS, Binghamton University’s evolutionary studies program, and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

For more information, contact David Sloan Wilson at 607-777-4393 or visit  http://bingweb.binghamton.edu/~evos/Public_health.htm

Last Updated: 9/17/13