Cape Town – 19 April 2016 – The Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) and its key partner, the Department of Science and Technology, today launch the next exciting leg of its All from One campaign and exhibition, in collaboration with Iziko Museums of South Africa.
A lack of tolerance for others is one of the major ills besetting society today and the campaign heralds the remarkable fact that there is a 99.9% similarity between the chemical sequences making up the genomes of any two people. The exhibition was set up initially at Standard Bank with spokespeople and celebrities presenting their own genealogy findings, before moving on to a Soweto leg of the tour.
The opening tour of the All From One exhibition will form part of Department’s Budget Vote programme and strives to herald Africa as the birthplace of humankind. Hosted at the Iziko South African Museum, the exhibition aims to improve the public’s awareness of their shared origins and the shared origins of all life forms.
Minister Naledi Pandor, the campaign’s South African Patron, says the All from One exhibition that stands outside the Iziko South African Museum exemplifies the Department of Science and Technology’s dedication to making science relevant to all South Africans.
“The exhibition amplifies PAST’s Walking Tall Schools project, which has provided palaeosciences workshops to over 1.2 million learners and educators. As such, PAST is an important part of our 2011 South African Strategy for the Palaeosciences, which seeks to instill pride in our African heritage, develop South African leadership in the palaeosciences, and provides proof of the mutual roots that bind us all in a common humanity. I am pleased that my department supports PAST, and I am proud to be a Patron of PAST’s All from One campaign,” the Minister said.
PAST is an NGO that promotes research and education on South Africa’s rich fossil evidence for the development of life and humankind.
“We are extremely grateful to the Minister for supporting the next leg of what is such an important journey in South Africa. Leadership and education in the sciences are crucial to helping create the future our children and grandchildren will be proud of,” he says.
If we use science as our guide, it is clear the racial distinctions that began to appear as recently as 50,000 years ago as our ancestors populated the world from the African homeland are not only superficial, but indeed a failed social experiment. Science proves 99.9% of the 3 billion nucleotides in your genome are the same as any other member of the human race.
“The scientific fact is humans are 99.9% alike, with a just a few genes making for the differences in skin colour,” says Professor Robert Blumenschine.
The Iziko South African Museum, established in 1825, is the oldest and largest natural history museum on the sub-continent. Iziko Museums of South Africa is proud to be associated with the exhibit which aims to promote tolerance using our shared African heritage. Iziko will be facilitating a series of educational programmes and public engagements related to the exhibition during the course of this showing.
Plans are being developed to expand the campaign into East and West Africa and the U.A.E., where Sheikh Nahayan, the U.A.E. Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, is an International Patron of the campaign. Thereafter, PAST plans to take the campaign to Europe and the U.S.A.
The All from One exhibition will be open to the public free of charge outside the Iziko South African Museum from 20 April 2016 to 17 July 2016.