Gifford Lectures Autumn 2019 series announced - Prof. Mark Pagel

Published: 16 August 2019

The topic will be "Wired for Culture: the origins of the human social mind, or why humans occupied the world"

Professor Mark Pagel, University of Reading, will deliver this year’s autumn series of Glasgow Gifford lectures, "Wired for Culture: the origins of the human social mind, or why humans occupied the world".

The series begins on Wed. 23rd October 2019 and consists of 4 public lectures on separate evenings on various aspects of human culture, language, cooperation and their evolution (see for further details). The lectures will take place in the Sir Charles Wilson LT, starting at 6.15pm each evening. Tickets are available via EventBrite.

The Gifford lectures are a prestigious series established in 1888 as a result of a bequest by Adam Lord Gifford. They attract well-known philosophers and pre-eminent thinkers in their various fields. They were set up as public lectures to "promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term". More recently, this has been interpreted, in the spirit of the Gifford endowment's original gloss, to include scientific explanations for human and other phenomena, as well as a wide range of philosophical approaches to the analysis of human engagement with the world, the Universe and one's fellow humans.

Professor Pagel is an evolutionary biologist, Fellow of the Royal Society, widely published in top journals and author of a widely-praised book, "Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind". His lectures will put forward a scientific explanation for why the human brain is the way it is, and will touch on language evolution, creativity, tribalism and cooperation, and on the implications of these for the future of language, culture, and society.

First published: 16 August 2019