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For more information about the seminar, please contact
Denise Dant
Tel: 0118 9533770

For press enquiries, please contact:
Claire Hornshaw
Tel: 01225 386319

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Professor Ian Gough has organised the seminar
Professor Ian Gough has organised the seminar
This seminar has been podcast
This seminar has been podcast

Press Release - 27 February 2007

How has Darwin changed the way we think about society?

Leading figures from a range of social science disciplines will meet to discuss whether the theory of natural selection has anything to offer present-day students of cultures and societies (Wednesday March 14).

The seminar, Evolution & the Social Sciences, will be aimed at a general audience. It will be opened by social psychologist, Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath and will be chaired by sociologist Professor W.G Runciman, Trinity College, Cambridge, whose principal research interest is the application of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory to cultural and social selection.

The event, hosted by the University of Bath, will be held by the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences (AcSS) as part of the Economic & Social Science Research Council’s Festival of Social Sciences 2007. It has been organised by Professor Ian Gough, who is part of the Department of Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath and Deputy Director of the ESRC Research Group on Wellbeing in Developing Countries.

Professor Gough said: ‘I am delighted to host this event for the Academy. We really need to encourage this type of interdisciplinary debate and I’m sure it will be a lively gathering.”

In 2004, Professor Runciman edited and contributed to a British Academy occasional paper Hutton and Butler: Lifting the Lid on the Workings of Power, which deals with the events surrounding Britain’s participation in the invasion of Iraq and the way in which it was presented to the British public.

The other speakers include Geoffrey Hodgson, Research Professor in Business Studies, University of Hertfordshire; Ruth Mace, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, University College, London and Mike Rustin, Head of the School of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, University of East London and Visiting Professor at the Tavistock Clinic.

Geoffrey Hodgson’s research interests span from evolutionary economics and history of economics thought to Marxism and theoretical biology. He is the author of numerous books, including Economics in the shadows of Darwin and Marx: Essays on Institutional and Evolutionary Themes, which was published in November 2006.

Recently appointed co-editor of Evolution and Human Behaviour, the official academic journal of the Human Behaviour & Evolution Society, Ruth Mace originally trained as an evolutionary biologist, but has been working in anthropology for some years.

Mike Rustin’s current teaching work is mainly in the field of psychoanalytic studies and psychoanalytic research. His latest book, Culture and the Unconscious examines the connections between the spheres of art, academia and psychoanalysis.

The seminar will be held at 3.30pm, on Wednesday March 14 in Room 3 West North room 3.7, University of Bath. For further information please contact: Denise Dant, details above.

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