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University of Iowa News Release

 

Nov. 19, 2008

UI faculty member Mark S. Blumberg reads from 'Freaks of Nature' Dec. 2

University of Iowa psychology faculty member Mark S. Blumberg will read from his new book, "Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Web site http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu.

The event will be recorded for broadcast on Iowa Public Radio's "Live from Prairie Lights" series. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City and WOI-AM 640 in Ames.

In "Freaks of Nature," Blumberg turns a scientist's eye on the oddities of nature, showing how a subject once relegated to the sideshow can help explain some of the deepest complexities of biology. In taking seriously a subject that has often been shunned as discomfiting and embarrassing, he sheds new light on how individuals -- and entire species -- develop, survive and evolve.

"Everyone seems to have an opinion about 'freaks' and 'monsters,'" Blumberg says, "but few have a true sense of their place in the natural world. I wanted to write a book for the general public that helps us appreciate the common developmental origins of anomalous individuals and species."

Blumberg, a Starch Faculty Fellow, teaches in the psychology department's Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience and Developmental Science training programs. He is also editor-in-chief of Behavioral Neuroscience, a member of the Iowa Center for Developmental and Learning Sciences, and past president of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.

He is the author of "Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior" and "Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth," and a co-editor of the forthcoming "Oxford Handbook of Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience."

Visit his Web page at http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/faculty/blumberg/blumberg.html.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell), winston-barclay@uiowa.edu