May 7, 2012

IST Young Scientist Symposium on Human Evolution

On May 7, 2012, the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria in Klosterneuburg staged its first ‘IST Young Scientist Symposium’. The one-day meeting, which was entirely organized by PhD students and post-doctoral fellows from IST, was dedicated to human evolution. The conference in the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall drew more than 100 attendees, bringing together international experts and young scientists to foster discussions on progress and problems in the dynamic field of research. The scientific program consisted of six insightful talks on diverse topics such as genetics, locomotion or the origin of language. Among the keynote speakers from five different countries were geneticist Morten Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen, DK), paleoanthropologist Bence Viola (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, D), theoretical evolutionary biologist Eörs Szathmáry (Eötvös Lorand University Budapest, HU), behavioral scientist Daniel Nettle (University of Newcastle, UK), computational zoologist Bill Sellers (University of Manchester, UK), and theoretical biologist Philipp Mitteröcker (University of Vienna, A). The talks were followed by a lively panel discussion on the future of human evolution before the symposium was concluded with an informal get-together of speakers and audience in the evening.