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The Evolution of Culture in Monkeys, Apes and Humans


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Speaker(s): Dr Jonathan Birch, Professor Andrew Whiten
Chair: Dr Bryan Roberts

Recorded on 12 June 2014 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Culture surrounds us. But where did it come from? And what are the basic mechanisms underpinning its transmission? One way to answer this question is to compare the evolution of culture among humans to that of non-human cousins like monkeys and chimpanzees. In this event, renowned scientist Andrew Whiten will present some of his results on the evolution of culture, followed by a discussion with philosopher of biology Jonathan Birch.

Jonathan Birch is a junior research fellow at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge.

Andrew Whiten is a professor of evolutionary and developmental psychology and Wardlaw Professor at the University of St Andrews.

Bryan Roberts is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at LSE.

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