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DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar and Webinar Series

The Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) and NIMBioS hosted a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity (2019-2020) and a series of webniars on Cultural Evolution (Fall 2020). In Spring 2021, DySoC is presenting a series of twelve webinars on Human Origins and Cultural Evolution: Celebrating the 150th anniversary of The Descent of Man. These weekly webinars are streamed live on Tuesdays and are also recorded for later viewing.

Click on the video icons below to view recordings of past seminars and webinars: Video icon.

Date Speaker Topic
  Fall 2021 DySoC / Exeter Webinar Series Evolution and Social Systems
Sep. 28
11:45 a.m.
Simon Levin (Princeton University) Video icon. Public goods and environmental challenges: Learning from evolution
Oct. 5
11:45 a.m.
Nathan Nunn (Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics, Harvard University) Video icon. Cultural Mismatch
Oct. 12
11:45 a.m.
Kristen Hawkes (Anthropology Department, University of Utah) Video icon. Sexual selection, carnivory, and life history evolution in the human radiation
Oct. 21
11:45 a.m.
Giulia Andrighetto (Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC) at CNR, Malardalen University, Vasteras, Sweden) Video icon. Norm change and cooperation under collective risk in a long-term experiment
Oct. 26
11:45 a.m.
Anne C. Pisor (Department of Anthropology, Washington State University) Video icon. Long-distance social connections, collective-action problems, and climate-change adaptation
Nov. 2
11:45 a.m.
Timothy Njagi (Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University, Kenya) Video icon. A comparative perspective on the evolution and sustainability of pastoralist production systems
Nov. 9
11:45 a.m.
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder (MPI-EVA Leipzig, UC Davis, Santa Fe Institute) Video icon. How Many Wives? Tracing the Interdisciplinary Career of the Polygyny Threshold Model
Nov. 16
11:45 a.m.
Stefani Crabtree (Assistant Professor in Social-Environmental Modeling, Department of Environment and Society, College of Natural Resources, Utah State University & Santa Fe Institute) Video icon. Modern Lessons of applying Socio-Environmental Modeling to the Archaeological Record
Nov. 23
11:45 a.m.
Matthijs van Veelen (Evolution and Behaviour at CREED, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Video icon. The evolution of morality and the role of commitment
Nov. 30
11:45 a.m.
Heidi Colleran (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture) Video icon. The impossibility of "natural fertility" in human cultural systems
Dec. 7
7:00 a.m.
Naoko Matsumoto (Director of the Research Institute for the Dynamics of Civilizations, Department of Archaeology, Okayama University) Video icon. What's so special about the Jomon?
  Spring 2021 Webinars on Human Origins and Cultural Evolution
Feb 2
12:15 p.m.
Joe Henrich (Harvard Univ.) Video icon. The Secret of Our Success
Feb 9
11:45 a.m.
Marta Lahr (Univ. of Cambridge, UK) Video icon. An extended origin: Climate, populations and palimpsests in the evolution of Homo sapiens
Feb 16
11:45 a.m.
Johannes Krause (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) Video icon. The Genetic History of the Plague: What We Learn from Ancient Pandemics
Feb 23
11:45 a.m.
Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum, London) Video icon. What is Homo sapiens?
Mar 2
11:45 a.m.
Polly Wiessner (Arizona State Univ.) Video icon. The Embers of Society: Firelight Talk among the Ju/'hoansi Bushmen
Mar 9
12:15 p.m.
Michael Muthukrishna (London School of Economics) Video icon. Cultural Brain Hypothesis, Collective Brains, and the Evolution of Intelligence
Mar 16
11:45 a.m.
Louise Barrett (Univ. of Lethbridge, Alberta) Video icon. Thinking Outside the Head: Cognitive Ecologies and Evolutionary Psychology
Mar 23
11:45 a.m.
Sarah Mathew (Arizona State Univ.) Video icon. War and Peace: The Cultural Evolution of Large-scale Conflict and Cooperation
Mar 30
11:45 a.m.
Fiona Jordan (Univ. of Bristol, UK) Video icon. 'A subject too large and complex' for Darwin: The Cultural Evolution of Kinship Terminology
Apr 6
11:45 a.m.
Manvir Singh (Institute for Advanced Studies, Toulouse) Video icon. Human Social Organization during the Late Pleistocene: Challenging the Nomadic-egalitarian Model
Apr 13
11:45 a.m.
Thomas Currie (Biosciences, Univ. of Exeter, UK) Video icon. The Descent of Rules: Investigating the Cultural Evolution and Ecology of Institutions
Apr 20
11:15 a.m.
Maria Lapinski (Michigan State Univ.) Video icon. Communicating Cultural and Social Norms
  Fall 2020 Webinars on Cultural Evolution
Sep 29
11:45 a.m.
Peter J. Richerson (Univ. of California, Davis). Video icon. Outreach for the Cultural Evolution Society: Everybody needs to know a little bit about cultural evolution
Oct 6
11:45 a.m.
Paul E. Smaldino (Cognitive and Information Sciences, Univ. of California, Merced) Video icon. How to teach modeling, or Thoughts on a pedagogy for cultural evolution
Oct 13
11:45 a.m.
Andy Whiten (Univ. of St Andrews, UK) Video icon. Animal cultures: Core discoveries and new horizons
Oct 20
11:45 a.m.
Joseph Stubbersfield (Psychology, Heriot-Watt Univ., Edinburgh, UK) Video icon. Cognitive biases in folklore: From fairy tales to fake news
Oct 27
11:45 a.m.
Adrian Viliami Bell (Anthropology, Univ. of Utah) Video icon. Cultural evolution in the field
Nov 3
11:45 a.m.
Bernard Koch (Sociology, Univ. of California, Los Angeles) and Erik Gjesfjeld (Archaeology, University of Cambridge, UK) Video icon. Modeling the dynamics of cultural diversification
Nov 10
11:45 a.m.
Peter Turchin (Complexity Science Hub Vienna and Univ. of Connecticut). Video icon. Cultural macroevolution: Understanding the rise of large-scale complex societies in human history
Nov 17
11:45 a.m.
Ruth Mace (Evolutionary Anthropology, University College London). Video icon. The behavioural ecology of religious beliefs and practices
Nov 24
11:45 a.m.
Patricia Izar (Experimental Psychology, Animal Behavior, Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil) Video icon. The impact of a tradition on the life of capuchin monkeys
  2020 Seminars
Jan 14
Tue 3:30
Simon Carrignon, NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Video icon. Content-dependent biases in social learning strategies: A multiscale approach
Feb 4
Tue 3:30
Carlos A. Botero, Biology, Washington Univ., Saint Louis, MO Video icon. Ecological and evolutionary modeling shed light into the evolution and spread of human agriculture
Mar 3
Tue 3:30
Christian Houle, Political Science, Michigan State Univ. Video icon. The political implications of ethnic inequality
Mar 10
Neil Johnson, George Washington Univ. Online ecologies of distrust and hate
Apr 7
Michael Bailey, Research Scientist Manager, Facebook The economic impact of social networks
Canceled* Michael Muthukrishna, London School of Economics
Canceled* Kelly Rooker, Amazon Web Services
  2019 Seminars
Jan 22 Oleg Manaev, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. Reshaping social structure for legitimation of power in resurgent autocracy: The case of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine
Feb 14 Frans B. M. de Waal, Living Links, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory Univ., Atlanta, USA, and Utrecht Univ., the Netherlands Animal emotions and empathy, Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Mar 25 Stephanie A. Bohon, Assoc. Director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice; Sociology, Univ. of Tennessee Video icon. Structural conditions of police-involved killings in the United States
Apr 23 DySoC/NIMBioS Event: Baba Brinkman, rap artist and playwright World Premiere of Rap Guide to Culture. The performance is free. Public welcome. 272 Student Union
Apr 25 Michele Gelfand, Psychology, Univ. of Maryland Rule makers, rule breakers: How tight and loose cultures wire our world. Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Sep 10 Jeremy Van Cleve, Biology, Univ. of Kentucky Video icon. Components of cooperation: Synergy in structured populations and the evolution of guilt
Oct 15 Luke J. Matthews, Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Co-Director, RAND Center for Applied Network Analysis and System Science Video icon. Cultural inheritance mechanics: Their affordances for evolutionary adaptation and applications to policy analysis
Nov 25 Simon Levin, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton Univ. Video icon. Public goods, from biofilms to societies
  2018 Seminars
Feb 14 Alex Bentley, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. The acceleration of cultural evolution
Mar 19 Brandon Prins, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. Pirate lands: Governance and maritime piracy
Apr 16 Garriy Shteynberg, Psychology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. Not by imitation alone: Collective learning as a psychological foundation of human evolutionary success
Aug 27 Todd Freeberg, Psychology, EEB, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Songbird social psychology: Flock complexity affects Carolina chickadee behavior
Sep 24 Damian Ruck, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. Cultural prerequisites for democracy and economic development
Oct 15 Sergey Gavrilets, EEB, Mathematics, NIMBioS, UTK; DySoC Director; Anthropology, Oxford Univ. Video icon. Evolution of social complexity in non-human animals and humans
Nov 12 Aleydis Van de Moortel, Classics, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. Understanding the rise and decline of complex society at prehistoric Mitrou, Greece, through practice theory and human agency

*Due to COVID-19 concerns, all activities that involve travel to NIMBioS through July 31st have been canceled. Read more »

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