In the News October 2021
Thomas W. Stafford, Jr. is head of Stafford Research Laboratories, Inc. and Associate Research Professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. He lives in Lafayette, Colo. Among his current projects are the Paisley Caves in Oregon (which contain evidence of the oldest humans in North America), ancient DNA of Kennewick Man and other early Paleoindian skeletons in North America, late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions in North and South America and evidence for and against an extraterrestrial extinction event at 10,900 RC years . . . .
Richard C. Lewontin, a longtime Harvard professor who belonged to a constellation of names that were household words in genetics, including Watson, Collins, Crick and Franklin, died in his home in Cambridge, Mass., July 4, at the age of 92. It was three days after the death of his wife of 70 years, Mary Jane Christiansen. More than any other geneticist, he was known for his attacks on the concept of race, often sparring with his colleague Edward O. Wilson, the founder of sociobiology. Lewontin condemned the facile use of genetics to “explain” human nature. In one of his most popular books, It Ain’t Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions (2000), he claimed, “Like it or not, there are a lot of questions that cannot be answered, and even more that cannot be answered exactly . . . .”
James “Jim” Leslie, 82, of Gahanna, Ohio, died August 3, 2020 from Alzheimer’s. Leslie was born January 7, 1938 and he graduated from Simon Kenton High School and Wilmington College. He served 4 years in the Air Force as a mathematics/computer instructor rising to the rank of a 1st Lieutenant, worked as an engineer at North American Aviation Plant in Columbus and retired from the Ohio Welfare Department as a programming and systems analysis manager. He loved family history, genealogy, traveling, going on archaeology digs and volunteering at the Ohio Historical Society. Leslie was past president of the Midwestern Epigraphic Society. He was an expert in American Indian artifacts.
August 9 marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, reappointed for a third term to serve as poet laureate, spoke in an interview in Business Insider. In the past year, Harjo published an online interactive “poetry map” showcasing the poetry of 47 Native Americans’ work, as well as a book of her own poetry, An American Sunrise, which highlights the suffering Indigenous peoples endure because of forced relocation in the United States.