Videos of Faculty

"Human Biology At Forty" is the documentary that played at the 40th Reunion in 2011. It includes interviews with all the living founders of the program, and many who were involved during the early years, in addition to many of the directors and faculty that have made Humbio famous over the years.

As our last installment in this series, we ask "what was your most embarrassing moment?" Don Kennedy, Paul Ehrlich, Shirley Feldman, Russ Fernald, Bill Durham, Sandy Dornbusch, Carol Boggs, Herant Katchadourian, and Tibby Simon recall with laughter that moment...

Carol Boggs, Bing Director of the Program in Human Biology Emerita, taught in the program for 25 years. In this interview she talks about how the program has grown and what challenges we face. In particular she admires how the program gives students the freedom to explore their own interests and develop as individuals, yet gives "them an integrated perspective on the world." No matter how they pursue their careers, alum will have "a way of looking at the world's problems not just from a disciplinary viewpoint, but from an overarching holistic viewpoint."

Bob Siegel has advised students and taught courses in Humbio for decades. In the 80s his course on "The Impact of AIDS" was one of the first to address the epidemic, and today "Humans and Viruses" covers everything from the eradication of smallpox to current policies on emerging disease. In this interview he talks about his students' careers and takes a long view of the program, which he says has not changed so much in the 40 years since he took Pittendrigh's hugely-popular course on "Man and Nature."

Richard Klein has taught in the Humbio Core each Fall for over a decade. In his lectures Klein introduces sophomores to our hominid ancestors, and teaches them how derived traits are used as evidence for the branches in our evolutionary tree. In this interview he focuses on our migration out of Africa to all of Eurasia. Something changed around 50K years ago and Cro-magnons, similar to modern humans, began to replace Neandertals in Europe. The Neandertal genome suggests that we may have interbred with them, but Klein has his doubts. He points out that the only strong archaeological evidence for cohabitation is in the Paris River Valley at one Châtelperronian site from around 30K years ago.

Audrey Bernfield was hired as the Director of Advising and Career Counseling in 1976. Her career workshops should not be confused with the original workshops, which later evolved into the Internship program when Lorraine Morgan coordinated the program in the late 70s. In this interview Bernfield remembers the students she counseled to find or invent the job they wanted before compromising their dreams.

Don Barr has been teaching courses on Health Policy for Human Biology since the 90s and he has also taken an active role advising Humbio students who self-identify as pre-med. In this interview he talks about students who say to him "I used to be pre-med, but..." and he reflects upon the history of medical school requirements. His recent book on this topic is called Questioning the Premedical Paradigm.

Arthur Wolf is the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Professor in Human Biology, and has been lecturing in the Core since the early 1970s. In this interview Professor Wolf discusses the mythology of the program's foundation and how the B-side and A-side division evolved in the early years. Many of the problems facing human beings are social, he points out, and may also require social solutions.

Al Hastorf has died after a short battle with cancer and other complications.  He was the Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor Emeritus in Human Biology, one of the original founders of HumBio, former chair of psychology, dean of H&S and provost of Stanford. He was also a widely admired lecturer in the Core, where he wove storytelling together with concise summaries of experimental method, complex concepts in psychology with wit and humor. In this lecture from 1988 on Conformity he does it all.

Note that (below) you can also view his interview for the Humbio 40th Reunion Documentary.

Apologies for the audio of this microdoc, but this interview was not conducted in person but over Skype. Click here for a transcript. David Hamburg was the Chair of Psychiatry at the time he helped to found The Program in Human Biology. In the late 60s, together with Joshua Lederberg, who was the Chair of Genetics, he had taught a course called "Man as Organism" which attempted to look at the human being as a whole. Although they introduced undergraduates to the new genetic findings of the time, a human being is "not a bag of molecules" and they connected the biomolecular, circulatory and other systems at each scale of the organism including the behavioral and social levels of organization. This was pioneering in that it filled a gap between the medical school, which did not typically teach undergraduates, and biology, which did not typically teach the biology of humans. The student interest in this early class was one of the inspirations to create the humbio major. Even after David Hamburg left Stanford, when he was President of the Carnegie Corporation he continued to remain involved with the program, supporting the Middle School Curriculum project among others.
During the period when Professor Craig Heller was Director of the Program (1985-1992), Human Biology developed an ambitious curricula for middle school life sciences education. At this time Humbio Founder David Hamburg was President of the Carenegie Corporation and had made adolescence a major focus of the foundation. With his support and major funding from the NSF, Humbio wrote and field-tested ten modules on topics ranging from Circulation and Ecology to Sexuality and Reproduction. We hear from Mary Kiely, who had worked for David Hamburg at Carnegie and became the director of the Humbio Middle School Curriculum Project, and also Herant Katchadourian and Shirley Feldman, who wrote several of the modules.
When he was a founder Professor Al Hastorf was the Chair of the Psychology Department and later he became the Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor of Human Biology and Provost of Stanford University. In this interview he recalls fondly the earliest lectures in the Core, when the professors would attend each other's lectures: "I would say one of the really sparkling parts of the start was...without it being forced, but essentially being forced to listen to each other. Because we were not listeners--we were talkers."
Bill Durham is the Bing Professor in Human Biology and was Director of the program from 1992-1995. In this interview he remembers the an NSF grant he was awarded as an undergraduate to study the effects of air pollution on student health. In 1971 this was the "first workshop" (what later became known as the internship),and involved a collaboration between students writing programs, studying motivational barriers to receiving health care, and many other aspects of the problem. He also remembers the first time he taught in the Humbio Core, and how his lectures on adult lactose malabsorption have developed over the years.
Professor Russ Fernald was director of the program from 1995-2003, and he discusses the challenges that faced Humbio at that time. Also, he remembers students who worked in his lab, where he researches how the neurons of fish change when their place in the social heirarchy changes.
Professor Paul Ehrlich was one of the founders of The Program in Human Biology. A population biologist, Ehrlich's 1968 publication The Population Bomb was one of many in which he extrapolated trends leading towards increased world hunger, loss of species, and polluted ecosystems...degraded soils, climate change and more geopolitical conflict.
Professor Emeritus Sandy Dornbusch was one of the founders of the Program in Human Biology, and at the time, the Chair of the Sociology Department. In this microdoc he describes how the program was founded, why he thinks it worked as well as it does, and tells a story he made up to describe the power of anonymity and which has since become an urban legend on campuses across the United States. Sandy Dornbusch was the Reed Hodgson Professor of Human Biology before he retired from the program in 1995.
Professor Emeritus Herant Katchadourian taught in the Program in Human Biology from 1971-2001, and his course on Human Sexuality (humbio10) was attended by around 20,000 students over those years. In the 80s he was Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, during which time he conducted a longitudinal study of the class of 1981, which he describes in Cream of the Crop.
Professor Emeritus Shirley Feldman was the first female academic member of Humbio and stayed with us for 37 years until her retirement. A professor of psychology, she researched adolescent development and also encouraged students in their own research. She remembers their honors projects with children overseas.
Professor Don Kennedy was Chair of Biology when he helped to found the Program in Human Biology. He later became Director (1973-77) of the program before he left to become the Chairman of the FDA, and returned as President of Stanford University (1980-92).
Lilian "Tibby" Simon was the first academic secretary of Humbio. She remembers fondly the idealism of the early students and the rapport she had with them. Tibby retired at the end of the 1970s and now is 93.