SPARC Festival Keynote Speaker
The Violinist's Thumb
Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. in Knott Auditorium
Did the human race almost go extinct? Can genetics explain a crazy cat lady’s love for felines? How does DNA lead to people with no fingerprints, or humans born with tails? And how did the right combination of genes create the exceptionally flexible thumbs and fingers of a truly singular violinist? Unraveling the genetic code hasn’t always been easy—from its earliest days, genetics has been rife with infighting, backstabbing, and controversial theories—but scientists can now finally read the astounding stories about human history buried in our DNA.
Sam Kean is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist’s Thumb. Both books were also Amazon Top-5 science books of the year. He and his work has been featured on Radio programs such as Radiolab, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air.