Vermont Press Releases

Fletcher Free Library Hosts a Traveling Smithsonian Exhibition: ‘Exploring Human Origins’

News Release — Fletcher Free Library
Feb. 7, 2017

Barbara Shatara

Burlington, VT — Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, a national traveling exhibition of the Smithsonian Institution, will be on display at the Fletcher Free Library from 18 February 2017 to 17 March 2017.

Through panels, interactive kiosks, hands-on displays and videos, Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? invites audiences to explore milestones in the evolutionary journey of becoming human — from walking upright, creating technology and eating new foods, to brain enlargement and the development of symbolic language and complex societies — advancements that define the unique position of humans in the history of life.

Based on the Smithsonian’s What Does It Mean to Be Human? permanent exhibition hall at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? seeks to shed light on what we know about human origins and how we know it. The exhibition welcomes different cultural perspectives on evolution and seeks to foster positive dialogue and a respectful exploration of the science.

“The topic of human evolution is fascinating, we are proud that the Fletcher Free Library can help encourage a constructive, informative discussion on the subject,” said Mary Danko, Fletcher Free’s Library Director. “We encourage people of all beliefs to explore the exhibition and participate in associated programming, and delve into human origins in a way that is captivating and relevant.”

“Hosting this Smithsonian exhibition connects our community to a wealth of scientific scholarship and educational resources. It has been a wonderful experience collaborating with a diverse range of local partners, as well as Smithsonian Institution faculty. We have developed compelling programming with varied perspectives on what it means to be human across a range of disciplines,” added Barbara Shatara, Programs and Partnerships Librarian and Exhibition Project Director. “Through this exhibit, we have the opportunity to learn more about each other, sharing our individual culture and viewpoints as we explore together the science of our origins.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of free library programs, including presentations by Smithsonian scientists. Please visit the exhibit website for a complete calendar of programming and events. Core partners in this initiative are the University of Vermont (UVM) and the University of Vermont Medical Center, St. Michael’s College, Champlain College, RETN, and the Friends of the Fletcher Free Library.

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