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Sept. 22-Oct. 1, 2023
The Flagstaff Festival of Science Board of Directors is proud to announce that the 2023 Festival, “The Mammoth World of Science,” will take place from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1, 2023.
To launch the free, 10-day adventure, the Festival will bring featured speaker Beth Shapiro, PhD, a pioneer and global leader in the high-profile field of ancient DNA, to share her expertise on the science of de-extinction. The W. L. Gore & Associates Keynote presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium.
Deep beneath the Arctic lie buried the genetic secrets of extinct Ice Age giants like mammoths, saber-toothed cats and sloths. Paradoxically, scientists like Shapiro can unearth these secrets to understand how changing climates and increasing human activity are affecting present-day species—and use this knowledge to save them from extinction.
Dr. Shapiro is a Rhodes Scholar, Macarthur “genius” and National Geographic Explorer. She is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Director of the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Shapiro travels extensively through the Arctic regions of Siberia and North America, where she collects the bones, teeth and other remains of extinct species. She extracts DNA from these remains and uses this information to understand how climate change and humans have had an impact on the distribution of living species—and whether bringing extinct species back to life could help save them.