Wednesday Rojak #55 – The Hobbit Symposium edition

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Last week, the Stony Brook University in New York hosted a one-day symposium at the Turkana Basin Institute entitled Hobbits in a Haystack: Homo floresiensis and human evolution. In this edition of rojak, we’ll be focusing on some of the buzz from the symposium.
photo credit: ideonexus
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Tiny Hobbit cast unveiled

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The cast of the controversial Liang Bua 1 hobbit was unveiled to the public on Tuesday at a special symposium at Stony Brook University in New York. The buzz is certainly exciting in the US, but it should be noted that many Indonesian and Malaysian colleagues are highly skeptical of the Hobbit representing a new species – partly from nationalistic sensibilities as well as religious ones (which is probably why you don’t hear a lot about them in the media). For now the published evidence tends to suggest that the Hobbit represents a new species rather than a deformed human, but I’d just like to highlight the disparity in opinion in the local scene.

Controversial Hobbit Looks Tiny in Person

Live Science, 22 April 2009
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Hobbit symposium at Stony Brook

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Everything you wanted to know about the Hobbit under one roof. Stony Brook University is holding a one-day public symposium, convened by palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey and hosted by the Turkana Basin Institute. The symposium will feature a who’s-who list of researchers presenting the latest on the Hobbit research and the debate.

Hobbits in the Haystack: Homo floresiensis and Human Evolution
Seventh Human Evolution Workshop
21 April 2009
Stony Brook University
Registration details at the Turkana Basin Institute

Top minds in ‘Hobbit’ debate gather at Stony Brook University
Science Centric, 07 February 2009
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