The AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture is an important opportunity to explore the environmental and societal challenges facing our planet through the lens of agricultural innovation and its applications in a global context.
Jason Silverstein, an anthropologist in training at Harvard, was looking for feedback on his research into the role of physicians as border police in French refugee asylum policy. Under the policy, medical evaluation is a key element of the asylum process—if refugees can prove they suffered trauma, they can stay. If not, they must leave.
In South Africa, researchers have discovered a 100,000-year-old workshop that may have been used by early Homo sapiens to make, mix, and store ochre—the earliest form of paint.
The use of ochre, which is essentially just colorful dirt, has been well-documented after about 60,000 years ago. But these new findings show that early humans were using ochre much earlier than that, as well as producing and storing it.