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The American West, often imagined as an exotic place apart, was in fact born coincident with the greatest revolution in movement in the world’s history at that time—the use of steam and electricity to convey people, things, and information.  Born connected, the West contributed to many forces and developments transforming the world in the late 19th century.  This talk will consider the West’s impact through the lens of science, in particular the fields of paleontology and epidemiology.  In both the emerging West provided critical breakthroughs that would shape our understanding of the origins of life and the causes of death.