Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Inheritance and cooperation, June 25/25 2015

Well that was one awesome meeting, if I do say so myself. We came from all corners of the globe (Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, France, Switzerland, Finland, California and even Australia), from all hierarchical levels (from UG to Emeritus) and from at least five disciplines (Philosophy, Biology, Computer Science, Psychology and Anthropology). We came, we talked, we shared, and it was good. The sandwiches left a bit to be desired and the rainstorm on departure was sub-optimal. But you can't have everything.

I was delighted to watch graduate students, doing their first ever public speaking, give clear and incisive commentaries to the main talks. My prestigious and eloquent speakers were lively and gracious when the enthusiastic and sometimes unrelenting debate flowed in after their talks. And break times were full of silo-busting chatter….Are philosophers more argumentative than biologists? Why are so many anthropologists hostile to evolutionary approaches? Do models beat informal arguments every time?

I learnt a ton, and I'm going to write a series of posts describing the talks in their order of appearance, followed by a final attempt at synthesis. I'll also be posting links to audio files so you can listen to the talks and responses for yourselves.

Comments and feedback will be more than welcome!

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