NAS Sackler Colloquium on The Extension of Biology Through Culture

The Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences to be held in Irvine California on Wed-Thursday, 16 and 17th of November 2016 on: ‘The Extension of Biology Through Culture’,

Proposals for posters on social learning, traditions and culture in humans and non-human species are welcomed and encouraged! Follow the poster tab on the margin of the webpage.

All best wishes – Andy Whiten  (and co-organisers Marcus Feldman, Francisco Ayala and Kevin Laland)

Invited and Confirmed Talks:
  • Evolution and revolution in cetacean vocal culture: lessons from humpback whale song, Ellen Garland, University of St Andrews, UK
  • Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins, Hal Whitehead, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Cultural legacies: unpacking the inter-generational transmission of information in birds, Lucy Aplin, University of Oxford, UK
  • What evolves in the evolution of social learning? A social insect perspective, Elli Leadbeater, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • Can culture re-shape the evolution of learning and how?, Arnon Lotem, Tel Aviv University
    What long term field studies reveal of primate traditions, Susan Perry, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Can we identify a primate signature in social learning?, Dorothy Fragaszy, University of Georgia
    The evolution of primate intelligence, Kevin Laland, University of St Andrews, UK
  • Public Lecture How animal cultures extend the scope of biology: Tradition and learning from apes to whales to bees, Andrew Whiten, University of St Andrews, UK
  • Skill learning, neuroplasticity and exaptation in the evolution of human tool-making and language, Dietrich Stout, Emory University
  • The role of cultural innovations, learning processes, and ecological dynamics in shaping Middle Stone
  • Age cultural adaptations, Francesco d’Errico, University of Bordeaux, France
  • The ontogenetic foundations of cumulative cultural transmission, Cristine Legare, University of Texas, Austin
  • “I don’t know”: ignorance and question-asking as engines for cognitive development, Paul Harris, Harvard University
  • Childhood as simulated annealing: How wide hypothesis exploration in an extended childhood contributes to cultural learning, Alison Gopnik, University of California, Berkeley
  • How language shapes the nature of cultural inheritance, Susan Gelman, University of  Michigan
  • Big data, cultural macroevolution and  the prospects for an evolutionary science of human history.  Russell Gray, Max Planck Institute for the science of human history, Germany
  • Ongoing prospects for a unified science of cultural evolution, Alex Mesoudi, University of Exeter, UK
  • Concluding Remarks, Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine