Christopher J. Bae

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-886

Approve Date

March 23, 2022

Project Title

Bae, Christopher (Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U. of) "What’s In A Name? Late Middle and early Late Pleistocene Hominin Systematics"

The purpose of taxonomy is to classify living organisms in a way that allows further communication about them. As such, taxonomic names enable the most direct communication about a group of objects/phenomena/organisms and accordingly, they play an important role in scientific communication. Questions have been raised however about whether hominin systematics should follow the same rules as other taxonomies. Naming hominin species is a layered and complex task that needs to answer to a multitude of often conflicting demands. The problem has really come to a head in recent years with the debate about how many hominin species should be considered acceptable during the Middle Pleistocene, a debate that is commonly referred to as the “muddle in the middle”. The purpose of the proposed workshop is to bring together the leading and most active researchers in Middle Pleistocene hominin systematics and examine this heavily debated question, particularly from a multidisciplinary perspective. We specifically sought to include hominin paleontologists, anthropological geneticists, zoologists, and paleontological systematists for an intensive workshop to be held at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. The workshop proceedings will be published as a special issue of a leading journal.