Preeminent scholar and evolutionary biologist Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr., was the keynote speaker of our Fall 2015 Seminar Series, held on December 2nd, 2015. Dr. Graves is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Biological Sciences at the Joint School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering at North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro.
Dr. Graves' accomplishments are immense: he received his PhD in Environmental, Evolutionary, and Systematic Biology from Wayne State University in 1988, becoming the first African American to obtain a PhD in evolutionary biology. In 1994, he was elected a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his pioneering work in establishing the genetic and physiological controls of aging. From 1990-2004, he has held appointments at the University of California, Irvine, Arizona State University-West with a joint appointment in African American Studies at ASU-Main, and as University Core Director at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
He has written books on the biology of race, including the 2003 book The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, which was released in 2005. He has published many dozens of papers and book chapters.
Importantly, he has been an active participant in the struggle to protect and improve the teaching of science, particularly evolutionary biology in the public schools. He has been a leader in addressing the under representation of minorities in science careers, having directed successful programs in California and Arizona.
It was a great pleasure to host Dr. Graves, and the conversations that this discussion elicited were ones that we as an organization hope to continue facilitating within the biomedical science community.