Anthropology postdoc's 'This I Believe' essay to air Sunday on NPR

May 07, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- The personal essay of Holly Dunsworth, a postdoctoral researcher in Penn State's Department of Anthropology who also completed her doctoral degree at the University, will air this Sunday (May 11) on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition." The weekly news program airs locally on Sundays from 8 to 10 a.m. Eastern time on WPSU-FM and can also be heard online via live audio stream at

Produced by Jay Allison, the essay series "This I Believe" is a revival of a CBS Radio program segment hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the early 1950s. 

Dunsworth will read her essay on the topic of evolution.

"I was inspired to write the essay because of how absurd the wording 'I believe in evolution' sounds to me," she explained. "It never failed that when I gave tours (as a grad student here at Penn State) to small school children in the Matson Museum of Anthropology, someone would ask me, 'Do you believe in evolution?' Even though I’d heard it phrased that way my entire life, something clicked and it started to sound absurd to my ears.

"It implies that evolution is controversial and it reminds me that half the country denies the reality of what I do for a living, as a paleoanthropologist who studies the fossil record," she continued. "Nobody says they believe in electricity or that they believe in gravity."

Dunsworth has accepted a position of assistant professor at Northeastern Illinois University and will move to Chicago in August.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009