© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson On What Lucy Says About Us

She certainly shook up our family tree that day in 1974. The human family tree that is.

Thursday in an encore broadcast of Up to Date Steve Kraske welcomes paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson who discovered the 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis. Too hard to pronounce? Don't worry, you can call her Lucy. And while a certain redhead might have her beat as the most famous to hold the moniker, she certainly holds the title in the world of fossils.

This hour we ask Johanson about that day in Ethiopia when he unearthed the bones. Plus, we talk about how he and his colleagues have uncovered specimens spanning 400,000 years and what it tells us about our evolution. And what do we still not know? It's been 38 years since his infamous find, but he continues to seek out answers to that question.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.