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New Online Tutorials: Dynamical Systems in Cultural Evolution
The Center for the Dynamics of Society Complexity (DySoC) and the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) announce a new online learning series presenting basic and applied lessons in the dynamics of cultural evolution. To truly understand how culture evolves, scientists often turn to mathematical models to shed light on how culture and life history have interacted in shaping who we are and what we might become. The CES online learning series, which includes seven modules, has been developed with self-guided study in mind. Through a variety of online learning methods, students will be able to independently work through the material to gain both a theoretical understanding of the method and practical experience using it. The concepts and techniques covered in these modules are intended to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations. The modules could serve as a basis for intensive short courses, seminars, or as components of a regular quarter or semester course.
The modules were created by scholars from around the world through a competitive process as part of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation with principal investigators DySoC Director Sergey Gavrilets and past CES President Peter J. Richerson.
Competition process: There were 19 applications (15 led by men and 4 by women; 1 from outside Northern America/Western Europe). The selection committee consisted of the PIs (Pete Richerson, Sergey Gavrilets) plus Louise Barrett, Patricia Izar, Russ Genet and Luke Matthews. Three members of the committee independently graded and commented on each application for quality and fit to the call. All discussed the applications at the funding decision meeting, including consideration of diversity issues.
Technical assistance was provided by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. Five of the seven modules have been released, available at http://www.dysoc.org/cesmodules.
They are as follows:
- Models of Social Dynamics: An Introductory Module (created by Paul E. Smaldino, Cognitive and Information Sciences, University of California, Merced, USA).
- Animal Cultures: Core Discoveries and New Horizons (created by Andy Whiten, University of St Andrews, UK; Lucy Aplin, Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, Germany; Nicolas Claidière, CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, France; Rachel Kendal, University of Durham, UK).
- The Neverending Story: Cultural Evolution and Narratives (created by Joseph Stubbersfield, Psychology Department, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK; Jamie Tehrani, Anthropology Department, Durham University, Durham, UK; Oleg Sobchuk, Max Planck Institute the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany).
- Foundations of Cultural Evolution (created by Adrian Bell, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah).
The remaining modules to be released this autumn/fall include: Dynamic Models of Human Systems; and Cultural Evolution of Dynamic Learning.
New CES Funding Scheme 2021
Thanks to the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation we are running a major new funding scheme to address big questions in the field of cultural evolution. After all, how our cultures evolve (including how information is transmitted, how people make decisions, and the interaction with our biology) is a pressing issue in a world in which our cultural activities are causing rapid, and drastic, social and physical changes.
Through this funding scheme we aim to tackle early career obstacles, western-centrism, traditional disciplinary divides, and division of scientists and public policy makers through 16 Research Projects (averaging £90,000 each) and 5 Applied Working Groups (£34,000 each). The deadline for the first (outline) stage of the funding competition is expected to be mid December 2021 and funded awards to begin in December 2022-January 2023.
For details on the calls for proposals and how to apply, click here.
- Mailing List sign-up
- What are the grand challenges for cultural evolution?
- CES Bylaws approved in February 2017
- Mandate for Deep Diversity in the Cultural Evolution Society
- CES Workshop Fund Information and Application Form
- Resolution on Diversity adopted January 2017
- Guidelines for Organising an Inclusive Conference or Workshop adopted October 2020
- Racism in academia, and why the ‘little things’ matter (Laland article in Nature) August 2020
- Society Job Board
- Abertay Language Lab at Abertay University
- Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change
- Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Sciences
- Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research at Victoria University of Wellington
- Centre for Culture and Evolution at Brunel University London
- Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity
- Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture and the University of British Columbia
- Centre for Language Evolution at the University of Edinburgh
- Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution (SLaCE) University of St Andrews
- Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University
- Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory at University of Queensland
- Department of Spanish, Linguistics, and Theory of Literature at University of Seville
- Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre
- Evolution and Social Cognition (ESC) group, École Normale Supérieure, Paris
- Groningen Center for Social Complexity Studies
- Human Behaviour and Cultural Evolution Group, University of Exeter (Cornwall)
- Hume Lab - Experimental Humanities Laboratory at Masaryk University
- Initiative for the Science of Human Past at Harvard University
- Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology
- Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University
- International Culture and Cognition Institute
- Laboratory for Past Disaster Science at Aarhus University
- LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion
- Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
- Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
- Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
- Mind, Body, and Cultural Evolution Lab at Victoria University of Wellington
- National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center
- New England Complex Systems Institute
- Oxford Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict
- Plidam at Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales
- Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society
- Queen's University Institute on Cognition and Culture
- Regime Shifts Database
- Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit, Aarhus University
- Seshat Global History Databank
- Social and Cultural Evolution Working Group at University of Pennsylvania
- Social Mind Center at Central European University
- Tools and Culture Among Early Hominins at Universität Tübingen
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution
- Evolution & Human Behavior
- Evolutionary Human Sciences
- Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture
- Journal of Cognition and Culture
- Journal of Cognitive Historiography
- Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion
- Journal of Evolutionary Economics
- Nature Ecology & Evolution
- Nature Human Behavior
- Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing by Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater
- Cultural Evolution: How Darwinian Theory Can Explain Human Culture by Alex Mesoudi
- Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion edited by Peter J. Richerson and Morten Christiansen
- Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others by David Sloan Wilson
- The Emergence and Evolution of Religion: By Means of Natural Selection by Jonathan H. Turner, Alexandra Maryanski, Anders Klostergaard Petersen and Armin W. Geertz
- Evolution in Four Dimensions by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb
- The Evolution of Religion: Studies, Theories and Critiques edited by Joseph Bulbulia et al.
- Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism and Shame by Christopher Boehm
- Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd
- Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture edited by Armin W. Geertz
- The Question of Animal Culture edited by Kevin Laland and Bennett G. Galef
- Religious Narrative, Cognition and Culture: Image and Word in the Mind of Narrative edited by Armin W. Geertz and Jeppe Sinding Jensen
- The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution by Joseph Henrich
- The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease by Daniel Lieberman
- Cultural Transmission Among Hunter Gatherers by Peter David Jordan
- UltraSociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators by Peter Turchin
- How Traditions Live and Die by Olivier Morin
- Explaining Culture by Dan Sperber
- Minds Make Societies by Pascal Boyer
- Speaking our Minds by Thom Scott-Phillips
- Synergistic Selection by Peter Corning
- Cognitive Gadgets by Cecelia Hayes
- A Manual for Cultural Analysis by Luke J. Matthews, Ryan Andrew Brown, and David P. Kennedy
- A Different Kind of Animal by Robert Boyd
- Darwinian Sociocultural Evolution by Marion Blute
- Darwin's Unfinished Symphony by Kevin N. Laland
- Evolution and Human Culture by Gregory F. Tague
- Art and Adaptability by Gregory F. Tague
- An Ape Ethic and the Question of Personhood by Gregory F. Tague
- Evolutionary Approaches to Culture conference (Institute of Advanced Studies, Sao Paulo University, Brazil, CES workshop funded)
- Joseph Henrich "The Secret of our Success", Talks at Google
- Robert Boyd, "How Culture Shaped Human Evolution", IAST Distinguished Lectures in the Social Sciences
- Simon Kirby, "The Language Organism: Evolution, Culture, and What it Means to be Human", University of Edinburgh
- Roundtable discussion on "The Generalised Theory of Evolution" with Daniel Dennett, Eva Jablonka, Alex Mesoudi, Brian Skyrms and Gerhard Schurz, University of Dusseldorf
- Extension of Biology Through Culture series, Arthur Sackler Colloquium (Alison Gopnik, Elli Leadbeater, Hal Whitehead, Kevin Laland, Russell Gray, Paul Harris, Arnon Lotem, Christine Legare, Alex Mesoudi, Dorothy Fragaszy, Dietrich Stout, Susan Perry, Andrew Whiten)
- Cecilia Heyes, "Cultural Inheritance of Cultural Learning", University of Oxford