WEIT at the USNM

by Greg Mayer

In an earlier post, I’d noted that I was unable to see the new Hall of Human Origins exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History when it opened in March. As promised at the time, I was able to see it this summer, and will provide a review here soon. But in addition to seeing the human evolution exhibit, I also stopped at the gift shop, and am happy to report that WEIT is not only for sale, it is a Curators’ Choice!

WEIT, a Curators' Choice at the USNM, August 2010.

The USNM (as the natural history museum is known to biologists) is one of the nation’s largest non-university research institutions specializing in evolutionary biology, and the curators are the professional scientific research staff of the museum, so it’s an honor to be singled out in this way (even though Neil Shubin’s book is up there too!).

17 thoughts on “WEIT at the USNM

  1. I would be interested to buy this book in Australia – Kindle for the iPad and its not available. This happens often, where publishers don’t organise the ‘rights’ and we are left bereft in both eBooks and audio. Just a whinge whilst I can.

    1. I’ve seen WEIT at bookstores in Australia, even got my copy that way (though these days I get most books online because it’s cheaper to have them delivered from the UK than it is to buy locally)

  2. I got lucky in March. My girlfriend and I didn’t even realize the exhibit was opening the day we were there. We were some of the first of the public to see it and I highly recommend everyone to view the Human Origins exhibit.

    1. There was another stack of copies of WEIT on the shelves further back in the store from the entrance, so you can’t tell quantities by the Curators’ Choice shelf alone. Or perhaps the shop didn’t stock as many Inner Fish because it doesn’t sell as well? 😉 Jerry and Neil are of course U. of Chicago colleagues, MCZ alumni, bestselling authors, and friendly rivals; both books are well worth reading, and I have used both books in undergraduate courses (Jerry’s in evolutionary biology– I think I may have been the first to adopt it; and Neil’s in vertebrate zoology).

      GCM

  3. OK, but I wasn’t too happy about my visit to this museum. Disturbingly, some of the concepts presented seemed to be anachronistic and/or inaccurate. For instance, they were still using the phrase “stem reptiles”, which is not paleontologically valid. The AMNH is my all time favorite.

  4. I just saw this yesterday, and highly recommend it. IA, you may be right that portions of it have their flaws, but I still think it is a great introduction for the general public (which is the exhibit’s target audience, after all). My wife (an MBA with very little scientific background) was enthralled.

    By the way, we heard Friday the Dawkins was getting a personal tour on Sunday – couldn’t wrangle an invite for that one unfortunately…

  5. Jerry, your PB is published by Penguin! That’s quite an honor in my book! (I hadn’t paid attention because I have a HC and got it very early. But then I saw your photo above and noticed that little orange oval …)

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