Nina Jablonski, recently named Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State University, has accepted a nomination as Permanent Visiting Fellow of STIAS; she joins a select group who “have an open invitation to work at STIAS whenever they can”.
Nina Jablonski is a co-convener of the long term STIAS project “The Effects of Race” (EoR), established within the framework of STIAS’s long-term programme “Being Human Today” which poses questions such as “What does it mean to be human,” and “What is the nature of the world in which we aspire to be human?” The core group of participants in this project met at STIAS in July and August to frame their research agenda over the next few years.
Jablonski is also collaborating with researchers at the Universities of Stellenbosch (SU) and Cape Town (UCT) on two other projects. The “vitamin D project” with members of the Faculties of Health Sciences at SU and UCT involves the measuring of serum vitamin D levels and measurement of skin pigmentation in order to determine if skin pigmentation is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency among moderately and darkly pigmented young adults in South Africa. In a second project UV-A/B monitoring is carried out at the Solar Observatory at the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG), Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. Alongside a new UV-A/B sensor the rate of conversion of vitamin D precursor into vitamin D daily is tested daily at noontime. Direct measurements of UVR together with study of the conversion rate of vitamin D precursor then make it possible to know exactly what the potential is for making vitamin D in the skin under local solar conditions.
We are honored by Nina Jablonski’s acceptance of her nomination as Permanent Visiting Fellow of STIAS and indebted to her leadership role and active engagement with the STIAS programme.