CHF 2013: Animal

Paul Sereno: Dinosaurs

Many of us harbor a deep fascination with the creatures of yore. Informed by Hollywood and Saturday morning cartoons, we picture them as giant monsters lumbering through the forests, gobbling up medium-sized beasts, and terrorizing gaggles of smaller ones. But does that image hold up in light of the latest research? Paul Sereno is a world-renowned paleontologist at the University of Chicago, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and the cofounder of Project Exploration, a Chicago-based organization that seeks to make science accessible to the public—especially minority youth and girls—through direct, personalized experiences with scientists. Sereno kicks off the Festival’s Hyde Park Day with an illustrated discussion of the latest findings in his field, in a program appropriate for both children and adults.

Images by Alissa Zhu

Speakers and Performers

Paul Sereno

Paul Sereno, a professor at the University of Chicago and explorer-in-residence at National Geographic, works with students, technicians, and artists in his Fossil Lab, bringing to life fossils unearthed from sites around the world. Sereno's field work began in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, where he discovered the first dinosaurs to roam the Earth some 230 million years ago. He co-founded Project Exploration, a novel science organization that recruits future scientists among urban youth; it earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Paul Sereno, Paleontologist
Official website
National Geographic Explorers

Good Reads

One of Six Scientists
A charming Chicago Tribune profile of Paul Sereno and his five scientist siblings

Online Resources

Digging Up Dinosaurs
Sereno's TED talk on pre-historic bones and finding a 40-foot crocodile [video]
A Bird, a Vampire, and a Porcupine
The Chicago Tonight interview about the discovery of the cat-sized dinosaur, Pegomastax africanus