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Sioux Falls native, Sam Kean part of Harding Distinguished Lecture Series


BROOKINGS, SD (KELO-AM)  South Dakota native Sam Kean will speak at South Dakota State University as part of the Harding Distinguished Lecture Series. Kean's talk will take place at 7 p.m. March 19 in the Performing Arts Center.Kean, who was born and raised in Sioux Falls, is a popular science writer and speaker with a unique take on both science and science history. He is a reporter at "Science" magazine."I'm always excited to come back and speak in South Dakota," said Kean, who has 15 other talks scheduled throughout the United State following his appearance at State. "I loved growing up here, and there's always a big crowd to welcome me back."Kean recently released "The Violinist's Thumb," which was described by the Washington Post as " 'The Violinist's Thumb' is a thoughtful work of literature that allows all of us—the nonscientists, the reading public—to grapple with the big questions about the history and future of our genetic code.""I really want people to appreciate the wonder of science," Kean said. "I always emphasize the stories in science—those are the things that stick with people, and you can learn a lot of science just through stories, I think. More specifically with this talk, I think people will come away with a deeper understanding of genetics and just what an amazing molecule DNA is."In addition to "The Violinist's Thumb," Kean is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Disappearing Spoon." He has an upcoming book, "The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons."The Harding Distinguished Lecture Series was established to honor the memory of Albert S. Harding, an 1892 graduate who taught history and economics at State for 47 years. Harding believed it was important for students to hear great speakers and kept a journal of those he heard, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan and Edward Everett Hale. The tradition continues by bringing to the SDSU campus people of national and international reputation to speak on timely topics.