|Real-life Indiana Jones to lecture as
part of visiting professor program
RELEASED: April 4, 2002
DANVILLE, KY-Centre College has announced Wade Davis will speak as part of the 2002 Humana Visiting Professor Program. Davis is an internationally renowned ethnobotanist. Dr. Davis will present a free public lecture entitled "The Light at the Edge of the World" on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre on campus.
Davis is an explorer-in-residence for National Geographic and has spent the past 25 years travelling the world from the Arctic to the Amazon, Tibet to Venezuela and beyond studying the dwindling diversity of the biological and cultural world.
In his recent book, "Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Culture," Davis explores our "ethnosphere," which he describes as "the sum total of all thoughts, beliefs, myths and intuitions made manifest today by the myriad cultures of the world." Davis writes, "The ethnosphere is humanity's greatest legacy. It is the project of our dreams, the embodiment of our hopes, the symbol of all that we are and all that we have created as a wildly inquisitive and astonishingly adaptive species."
Approximately five percent of the world's population retains a strong identity as members of an indigenous culture, according to Davis. These cultures account for 60 percent of the world's languages and collectively represent more than half the intellectual legacy of mankind. "Yet increasingly, their voices are being silenced, their unique vision of life lost in a whirlwind of change and conflict," Davis writes.
Described by some as a living Indiana Jones, Davis has shared his compelling research and stunning photos through lectures, television programs and books. He has introduced to many Westerners the lives, rituals, and beliefs of unique and endangered traditional cultures such as the Inuit, the Panan and the Waorani.
The author of nine books, Davis has lectured at museums throughout the U.S. and abroad and at more than 60 major universities. He was the host and co-writer of "Earthguide," a television series on the environment that aired on the Discovery Channel.
Since 1994 Davis has served as Vice President for Ethnobotany and Conservation at Andes Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company engaged in biodiversity prospecting in the Andes and Amazon of South America.
The Humana Visiting Professor Program allows Centre to invite leading scholars to campus each year to directly share in the lives of students and faculty. The college rotates the program among various academic areas, bringing outstanding persons from fields ranging from literature to science.
The Humana Foundation provided the endowment for the program to enrich the intellectual life of the campus by bringing to Centre distinguished visiting professors from some of Americas best universities. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. of Louisville.
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