Over forty top scientists from around the world, representing a melting pot of academic disciplines, convened at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in late May 2012 to discuss the topic of cultural evolution.

The forum was organized by Peter J. Richerson (University of California, Davis) and Morten H. Christiansen (Cornell University) under the auspices of the Ernst Strungmann Forum.

The scientists met for a five day period in four groups that considered the topics of 1) “Cultural Evolution of the Structure of Human Groups”; 2) “The Cultural Evolution of Technology and Science”; 3) “Cultural Evolution of Language”; and 4) “Cultural Evolution of Religion”. Opportunities were also provided for interactions among the groups.

The forum will result in a volume published by the MIT Press. TVOL is pleased to feature audio interviews with Julia Lupp, Program Director of the Ernst Strungmann Forum, Richerson and Christiansen, and representatives of the four groups.

Julia Lupp on the Ernst Strungmann Forum

Peter Richerson and Morten Christiansen on the Cultural Evolution Forum

Daniel Haun, Sarah Mathew, and Peter Turchin on Cultural Evolution and the Structure of Human Groups.

Robert Boyd and Alex Mesoudi on the Cultural Evolution of Technology and Science

Nicholas Evans and Russell Gray on the Cultural Evolution of Language

Edward Slingerland, Joseph Bulbulia, and Armin Geertz on the Cultural Evolution of Religion

Published On: September 8, 2012

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is president of Prosocial World and SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, through Prosocial World and in his own research and writing.  A complete archive of his work is available at www.David SloanWilson.world. His most recent books include his first novel, Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III, and a memoir, A Life Informed by Evolution.


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