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May 2021

Agustín Fuentes – Meaning-making, belief and world shaping as core processes in the human niche

Meaning-making, belief and world shaping as core processes in the human niche Agustín Fuentes Department of Anthropology, Princeton University Humans are not unique in the world. But we are quite idiosyncratic. Across the Pleistocene the genus Homo developed a distinctive suite of cognitive, behavioral, ecological, and technological processes and patterns; in short, a human niche. This niche eventually included a core role for meaning making, augmenting the capacity to engage with more than the “here and now” to develop novel…

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May 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Kim TallBear – Indigenous STS, Governance, and Decolonization

Indigenous STS, Governance, and Decolonization Kim TallBear Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta Like traditional Science and Technology Studies, the new field of Indigenous STS studies the cultures, politics, and histories of non-Indigenous science and technology efforts. In addition, it studies Indigenous-led science and technology, including knowledges classified as “traditional.” Indigenous STS refuses the purported divide between scientific and Indigenous knowledges, yet it does not…

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May 13 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Isabelle Laumer – Physical and social cognition in a parrot (Cacatua goffiniana) and ape model species (Pongo abelii)

Physical and social cognition in a parrot (Cacatua goffiniana) and ape model species (Pongo abelii) Isabelle Laumer Department of Anthropology, UCLA The comparative approach is a powerful tool to deepen our understanding of the adaptive value of complex information processing. Modern approaches of comparative cognition are interested in how cognitive outputs are influenced on the basis of convergence (distantly related species facing similar demands) or on the basis of divergence (closely related species facing different cognitive challenges). Birds diverged from…

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May 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Chris Krupenye – The social minds of humans and other apes

The social minds of humans and other apes Chris Krupenye Department of Psychology, Durham University and Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Few traits characterise humans more profoundly than the complexity of our social lives, and the depth of our insights into the social and mental lives of others. To predict behaviour and make decisions in a dynamic and uncertain social world, we track others’ social relationships, evaluate others based on their behaviour or identity, and even…

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May 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Alyssa Crittenden – Microbiomania, rewilding, and the threat of bioprospecting: How anthropologists can help to set a more ethical research agenda in microbiome sciences

Microbiomania, rewilding, and the threat of bioprospecting: How anthropologists can help to set a more ethical research agenda in microbiome sciences Alyssa N. Crittenden Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Scientific knowledge and commercial interest in the human microbiome are growing exponentially. As our understanding of the vital role of microbes increases, so does “microbiomania” – the fervor in which microbes are lauded in popular media and scientific press as capable of revolutionizing human health in the Global…

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May 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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