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95% Chimp - The genes that make us human

How close to apes are we? Are we all mutants? What makes us human?

This year's Pfizer Annual Science Lecture investigates human diversity. Guest speaker Dr Armand Marie Leroi will explore how mutants demonstrate the genetic differences that make us the way we are.

In 1863, evolutionist Thomas Henry Huxley demonstrated that humans are very closely related to apes, but failed to answer one important question: if we are so much like apes, what exactly are the differences? Dr Leroi will take the audience on a journey from Victorian museums to modern molecular genetics, arguing that human mutants not only reveal the molecular programmes that make up the human body but also our evolutionary past.

Dr Leroi is a Reader in Evolutionary Developmental Biology at Imperial College London. He was awarded the Royal Institution's 'Scientist for the New Century' in 2001, his first book Mutants: On the Form, Varieties and Errors of the Human Body, was published to critical acclaim this year and became the basis of a major Channel 4 documentary series.

A variety of specimens from the Natural History Museum's mutant comparative anatomy collection will be on display for the first time on the night of the lecture. The weird and wonderful mutated specimens include a pig with two snouts, a duck with two bodies, a two-headed shark and a four-legged chicken.

The Museum would like to thank Pfizer Limited for its generous sponsorship of this year's Annual Science Lecture.


Dr Armand Marie Leroi | talks


Date and Time:

15 November 2004 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
+44 20 79 42 58 81

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£14, £11 concessions, £10 members

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