One Scientist's Quest for the Origin of Our Species

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Science  29 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5599, pp. 1708-1711
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5599.1708

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POITIERS, FRANCE-- Years of effort in hostile territory have finally paid off for French paleontologist Michel Brunet, who discovered a fossil that might be the first member of the human family--although not everyone is convinced. In a field peopled by celebrity scientists, it seemed to many that Brunet came out of nowhere; the find of the century was made by a man trained not in hominids but in paleontology. Now, at 62, after a life of being little known outside his field, he is suddenly in demand everywhere.