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About the Keynote Speaker: Joseph L. Graves Jr.

Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr. is a professor of biological sciences at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. He received his Ph.D. in environmental, evolutionary and systematic biology from Wayne State University in 1988. In 1994 he was elected a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2012, he was chosen as one of the “Sensational Sixty” commemorating 60 years of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award. In 2017, he was listed as an “Outstanding Graduate” in Biology at Oberlin College; and was named an “Innovator of the Year” in US Black Engineer magazine.

His research in the evolutionary genomics of adaptation shapes our understanding of biological aging and bacterial responses to nanomaterials. His book on nanomaterials is entitled Principles and Applications of Antimicrobial Nanomaterials.  His books on the biology of race are entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium; The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America; and, with Alan Goodman, Racism, Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Racism, Not Race was named by Kirkus Reviews as “One of the Best Non-Fiction 2021” and to its list of “Best Books About Being Black in America 2021”.

Graves leads programs addressing underrepresentation of minorities in science. He aids underserved youth in Greensboro via the YMCA chess program. He has also served on the Racial Reconciliation and Justice Commission, and COVID Vaccination Task Force of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He serves as the science advisor to the Chicago and New Brunswick Theological Seminaries through the AAAS Dialogues of Science, Ethics and Religion program.