Renowned paleo-anthropologist Richard Leakey to lecture at CSUB

March 27, 2009
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720,
Richard Leakey Lecture at CSUB Photo

The Kegley Institute of Ethics is proud to bring Richard Leakey, famed paleo-anthropologist and Kenyan political figure, to California State University, Bakersfield for the 23rd Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture to be held Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Doré Theatre. Leakey will speak on "Ethics and Climate Change: The Future of Life On Earth." The lecture will include a discussion about the impact climate change has on the sustainability of life, relying in particular on historical changes of living conditions through the years.

"For years we have felt the urgency to host a quality program on ethics and climate change and Dr. Leakey's availability provided the perfect opportunity," said Christopher Meyers, director of the Kegley Institute. "Dr. Leakey brings unique expertise to the conversation in that he can address how climate and other global changes have impacted life for millennia. He is also one of our generation's most committed conservationists, having developed on-the-ground programs that have effectively benefited humans and animals alike."

Leakey grew up in what has been called the first family of anthropology. Born the second of three sons to Louis and Mary Leakey, Richard Leakey participated in his parent's expeditions at an early age. Years later, his field research and service as the director of the National Museums of Kenya led to a wealth of key discoveries between 1968 and 1989 that shaped the understanding of human origins. Specifically, Leakey lead field expeditions to the eastern and western shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya where he found early stone age tools dating to 1.9 million years old and a nearly complete 1.6 million year old skeleton of the "Nariokotome Boy," widely considered his most important find. Leakey also served as head of the Kenya Wildlife Services where he successfully combated elephant and rhinoceros poaching and oversaw a reorganizing of Kenya's troubled national park system.

The Kegley Institute of Ethics, named for the late philosophy professor Charles W. Kegley, has enhanced the quality of our community by stimulating thought and involvement in ethical issues. The Institute is widely viewed as the premier area resource on ethical issues. The annual lecture has hosted numerous high-profile speakers including former hostage negotiator Terry Waite, famed playwright Tony Kushner, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

The program is co-sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, with additional support from Mercy Healthcare, Bakersfield, St. Phillip the Apostle Church, and Grace Episcopal Church.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is free after 6 p.m. For more information contact the Kegley Institute of Ethics at (661) 654-2555 or visit