Renowned singer/songwriter Greg Graffin of the immensely influential rock band Bad Religion has just finished a sold-out tour and in the coming months will be addressing a slightly quieter though no less rapt audience. Graffin has a second career as an esteemed author and academic. The venerated punk icon obtained a PhD in zoology from Cornell University, has served as a lecturer in life sciences and paleontology at UCLA and recently published a best selling science memoir entitled Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God which was heralded by the Chicago Tribune as “A worldview eloquently expressed.”
In the coming months Graffin will shift his talents to the revered Ivy League institution of Cornell University where he will be teaching Evolution in the fall semester (August 24th to December 11th). “This is the first year of three that I am slated to help develop the course and lecture at Cornell,” Graffin explains. “I have a colleague who is a gifted geneticist, Richard Harrison, who will be co-teaching with me. I only have to lecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That leaves plenty of time to head overseas on the weekends!”
In additional news, Greg Graffin has been honored in the science world. In this month’s Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society in London, paleontologists including Dr. Jingmai O’Connor, have discovered an ancient bird fossil in the Gansu Province of north-western China, and have named this important find “Qiliania graffini” in honor of the singer. As O’Connor explains, “The species name is in honor of Dr. Gregory Graffin, PhD: paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, professor, rock star, and inspiration to numerous budding and established scientists around the world.”
Dr. Graffin responds, “I am so happy that they have given me the privilege of having an important fossil bird named in my honor. My love of birds now must pass to the Cretaceous and the wonderful finds from China that [the authors] are elucidating”
Catch Dr. Graffin on tour this summer in Europe before the fall semester begins.