Books et al.Evolutionary Biology

Evolution gets personal

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Science  27 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6485, pp. 1432
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba6134

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Each December for decades now, I've spent a few days in Pacific Grove, California, attending the Asilomar Chromatin, Chromosomes, and Epigenetics Conference. Before reading Neil Shubin's Some Assembly Required, however, I never knew that the city's first female mayor, Julia Platt, was also an accomplished embryologist. Having been shut out of academic positions, which were, at the turn of the 20th century, seldom given to women, she pivoted instead to politics, where her legacy includes the establishment of a marine protected area in California's Monterey Bay. This anecdote is one of many intimate and thoughtful stories tucked into the pages of this brief overview of Earth's 4 billion years of evolution.

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