The palaeoanthropologist professor John Hawks has released news about an exciting and innovative massive open online course (MOOC) entitled ‘Human Evolution: Past and Present’. The course is to be taught online and will begin in January 2014. John Hawks is a well known anthropologist who studies the bones and genetics of ancient humans, and is the Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The course will detail all the latest aspects of continuing research into human evolution, and the course will feature expert interviews, mini-documentaries, guided laboratories, participatory science, as well as looking to the future of human evolution with the ‘impact of technology on our future evolution’. This represents the best of open access science, and the chance to participate in a truly worldwide educational initiative.
Importantly Hawks announces that:
“This course and all its materials will be open and free for anyone, anywhere in the world. As of this moment, more than 6500 people have already signed up for the course. The course is still more than nine months away, and I’ll be developing materials across the entire time up through January” (emphasis mine).
Sadly due to US export restrictions the US goverment have now banned Coursera MOOC courses in Sudan, Iran and Cuba. This frankly illogical banning of the freedom of education is indicative of the worst aspects of a government.
- Read more on the announcement of the MOOC on the John Hawks weblog here, and sign up here for the course. This is a fantastic initiative and one not to miss if you are interested in human evolution and human osteology.