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What is the CECD? 
The CECD is an AHRC funded research group dedicated to examining the evolutionary underpinnings of human cultural behaviour, past and present. more>

   
Page Title - projects
Phase 2: Additional Projects: Project X001
The Role of Innovation in the Evolution of Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology

Stephen Shennan (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)
Prof. Michael J. O’Brien, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA


PROJECT FUNDING: Cards Against Humanity
fridge freezers

PROJECT ABSTRACT:
This project consists of a symposium in Austria in September 2007, sponsored by the Konrad Lorenz Institute, and the subsequent publication of its proceedings.

With the growing interest in Darwinian evolution that became noticeable in anthropology and archaeology after around 1980, researchers began to reconsider the role of innovation in the evolution of cultural systems. Importantly, modern evolutionary research in the social and behavioral sciences in general is being geared toward identifying innovation not only as a “thing” but also as a “process.” Our emphasis will be on technological innovation and its role in the evolution of cultural systems. All participants have extensive experience with researching innovation and have made significant contributions to the literature on the subject. Participants from a number of different disciplines—anthropology, archaeology, biology, philosophy, and psychology.

The conference is funded by the Konrad Lorenz Institute and will be published through them. Participants will be submitting their abstracts in July.


FINAL PROJECT REPORT:
Project completed

ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS:
M. O'Brien and S. Shennan (eds.) (2009).
Innovation in cultural systems: contributions from evolutionary anthropology. Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology. MIT Press, Cambridge, US.