Dr. Maeve Leakey (b.1942 – )

Many, many years ago — about 150, actually— a group of men with rather fantastic facial hair founded what would become the cornerstone of the American scientific establishment, the National Academy of Sciences.

Signed into existence by President Abraham Lincoln, the Academy served to further scientific research, addressing the pressing issues of the day, like how to make compasses work on your fancy new Ironclad steamboats.

On the 150th anniversery of the foundation of the NAS, President Barack Obama arrived to  reiterate the importance of the body, and science.

The very next day, on April 30th, 2013, the Academy announced its newly elected members, one of the highest accolades possible and limited to American citizens. However, the Academy does recognise exceptional contributions to science from those born elsewhere by electing a very small number of Foreign Associates.

All this is to highlight the incredible achievement of English-born Dr Maeve Leakey in being elected a Foreign  Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (one of only two newly elected women), in recognition of her outstanding contribution to our understanding of human origins (including the description of everyone’s favourite flat-faced 3.5-million-year-old Kenyan, Kenyanthropus platyops) with her palaeoanthropological work in the Turkana basin with the Turkana Basin Institute, the Leakey Foundation, and the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi.

posted by Brenna

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