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Are you or your students worried about climate change impacts and not sure how to help create significant improvements? Are you connecting your students to ways to be involved in solutions? This webinar focuses on expert curricular materials to engage students in current and future solutions that can be used in any course and in any discipline. Join us to see how you can be part of reducing doom and gloom and share opportunities for progress.
Brought to you by DANS (Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability) and HEASC (Higher Education Associations’ Sustainability Consortium).
Join the live webcast! “Awareness of Death and Personal Mortality: Implications for Anthropogeny” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, March 3rd (1:00 – 5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Nicholas Humphrey (University of Cambridge) and Ajit Varki (UC San Diego).
Humans seem to be unusual in the quality and extent of our responses to death, as well as the ability to translate these experiences into an understanding of our personal mortality. How did this uniquely human quality shape our origins, and what are the present-day consequences? This symposium will bring together experts from a wide range of disciplines to offer answers to these questions and more.
Join the live webcast! “Extraordinary Variations of the Human Mind: Lessons for Anthropogeny” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and the Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind (KIBM) on Friday, May 5th (1:00-5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Daniel Geschwind (UCLA School of Medicine) and Isabelle Peretz (Univ of Montreal).
The human mind is one of the features that makes our species unusual, and any narrative of our origins must include explanations for how our mental facilities were generated by genetic and cultural evolutionary processes. Comparative studies with other species and direct studies of how the typical human brain creates the mind are valuable approaches. However, many useful clues can also be gleaned from studying extraordinary variations of the human mind. This symposium brings together experts who have pursued in-depth explorations of some of these variations.
Access the live webcast here on May 5:
Join the live webcast! “Cellular and Molecular Explorations of Anthropogeny” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, September 29th (1:00–5:30 p.m. PT), co-chaired by Fred H. Gage (Salk Institute) and Svante Pääbo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology)
Cellular and Molecular Anthropogeny is a relatively new area of evolutionary inquiry made possible by advancements in comparative genomics, molecular techniques, and cell biology. Genomic comparisons with our living and extinct relatives, along with precise gene editing, help to determine which changes had important consequences for human uniqueness. Such studies provide insights into the molecular underpinnings of the human condition and can point to novel treatments for diseases affecting our species. This symposium will explore the progress of this new field of human evolution research.
Access the live webcast here on September 29
Join the live webcast! “The Role of Hunting in Anthropogeny” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, March 2nd (1:00-5:30 p.m. PT), co-chaired by James Moore (UC San Diego) and Richard Wrangham (Harvard University)
Hunting has long been seen as a key human adaptation, thought to have influenced our anatomy, physiology and behavior. Humans have been hunter/gatherers for most of our existence as a species; only today are the last hunter/gatherer cultures being lost. However, there is considerable uncertainty about where, when, why and how our early ancestors came to consume vertebrate meat on a regular basis. Cutmarks on fossil bones are open to multiple interpretations. (For example, were processed carcasses hunted or scavenged?)
We can look to our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, for clues – but surprisingly, there is still significant uncertainty about why chimpanzees hunt, why it is usually a male activity, or what explains dramatic differences between populations in rates of meat consumption.
The goal of this CARTA symposium is to explore evidence pertaining to understanding the origins of hominin hunting in an attempt to focus research agendas for the future.
Access the live webcast here on March 2:
Join the live webcast! “Imagination and Human Origins” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, June 1st (1:00 – 5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Sheldon Brown (UC San Diego) and Alysson Muotri (UC SanDiego)
Try to remember the first time in your life when you imagined something. It may have been imagining what was behind the door or under the bed, or a fantastic universe of wonders and exciting adventure. As children, our imaginations are furtive and encouraged as ways in which we develop our cognitive capabilities. As we grow older, we may not imagine these territories in quite the same manner, but we continue to heavily use and depend on our imagination in our daily lives, imagining different situations that might occur in a few moments or in a few years. Thus, we actually spend a large amount of time in our own particular universe imagining many possible different ones. Why we do this and how this capacity evolved during evolution? Imagination probably helped our ancestors to be successful in making decisions and live in complex societies. Imagination is key to advancing technology.
In this CARTA meeting, we plan to explore imagination as a unique/enhanced human ability. We will discuss the impact of human imagination in sciences and arts, the evolutionary origins, the consequences of imagination impairment and the fundamental genetic and neurological basis of human imagination.
Access the live webcast here on June 1: https://carta.anthropogeny.org/events/imagination-and-human-origins
Join the live webcast! “Impact of Tool Use and Technology on the Evolution of the Human Mind” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, October 12th (1:00 – 5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Tim White (UC Berkeley) and Patricia Churchland (UC SanDiego)
We “behaviorally modern humans” likely emerged more than 100,000 years ago in Africa, spread across the continent and eventually the planet, effectively replacing all closely related and potentially competitive species. There are many possible explanations for this, but one key to our consistent success in such replacement was the ongoing co-evolution of the human brain/mind with tool use and technology that actually began much earlier – all the way back to the use of simple stone implements millions of years ago – and continues with computers today.
Nine experts in the field will address this important gene-culture co-evolutionary process in anthropogeny at all levels, beginning with the potential link between early stone tool use and the parallel expansion of the human brain. We’ll explore humans’ control of fire and the invention of projectile weapons, all the way through reading and writing to current-day technologies such as computers and 3D reality, as well as look to the potential future of the human mind under the impact of continually evolving culture.
Comparisons with other living and extinct species will be made, and we’ll touch on other relevant cognitive features unusually well-developed in humans, such as language, theory of mind and cooperation.
Join us to explore answers to a question first posed by Alfred Russel Wallace: How did the human mind originally evolve such remarkable capabilities in Africa, ‘in advance of its needs’? After all, even today no human is born with the genetic capability to make even simple stone tools!
Access the live webcast here on October 12:
The Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems program (NCS) invites Frontiers applications, newly in the Fiscal Year 2019 competition. Frontiers awards will be highly ambitious and integrative to tackle challenges that require deeper and broader collaboration and coordination. Please join us for the NSF Neural and Cognitive Systems FY19 Webinar, on Monday October 22nd, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EDT. For more information and to register, please visit the NCS home page at http://nsf.gov/ncs .
Join the live webcast! “Anthropogeny: The Perspective from Africa” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, May 31st (1:00-5:30 pm Pacific), co-chaired by Berhane Asfaw (Rift Valley Research Service, Ethiopia) and Lyn Wadley (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
Darwin and Huxley first predicted that we humans shared a common ancestor with the African great apes and it is now abundantly clear that Africa was the “cradle of humanity,” with multiple waves of hominins arising on that continent and spreading across the old world, eventually being effectively displaced by our own species, which also arose in Africa. As Svante Pääbo put it, “we are all Africans, either living in Africa or in recent exile from Africa.” Given these facts, it is not surprising that the strong emphasis of anthropogeny is on the continent of Africa with studies ranging from genetic to paleontological to archaeological to primatological to climatological to sociocultural. This CARTA symposium focuses on the contributions of scientists and scholars of anthropogeny who live and work in Africa.
Access the live webcast here on May 31: