NUIG symposium celebrates the naming of Neanderthal Man

NUI Galway will hold a symposium at 5.30pm on Saturday May 24 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the naming of Neanderthal Man by William King, professor of geology at the then Queen’s College Galway in 1864. He remains the first scientist ever to name a new species of human.

The function will be attended by NUIG graduate, President Michael D. Higgins.

The event will take place in the O'Flaherty Theatre in NUI Galway and those interested in attending are asked to register at

Dr John Murray, one of the event organisers, said ,‘‘This event will celebrate where we have come from as human beings. Professor King’s work represents a scientific milestone in the history of our understanding of human origins. The term ‘Neanderthal’ is globally recognised and understood, but had King not coined this phrase during his time in Queen’s College Galway, they would most likely be known by a completely different name today.’’

Information regarding the full weekend symposium, entitled ‘From Fossils to the Genome’, is available at



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