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The Evolution of Friendship & Altruism | Bristol

The Evolution of Friendship & Altruism | Bristol

New
  •  57 Belle Vue Road, Bristol, BS5 6DP
Suitable for: Adults
Dr Nikhil Chaudhary is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology and Human Behavioural Ecology at Cambridge University. Having studied managerial economics at LSE he wen... More Info »
This Funzing Experience:
Why do humans help one another, sometimes even at a cost to themselves? Members of our species care for the sick, donate to charities and engage in philanthropy. Understanding how such altruistic behaviours could have been favoured by natural selection over more selfish tendencies has been the subject of inquiry amongst evolutionary scientists for decades, including Darwin himself. What’s even more fascinating is that whilst altruism can be found throughout the animal kingdom and even in micro-organsims like bacteria and funghi, Homo sapiens cooperate with unrelated individuals that do not share their genes!

This talk will examine possible explanations for the evolution of altruism and discuss the fundamental role it plays in the formation and maintenance of human friendships. Drawing on research from genetics, neuroscience, evolutionary anthropology and zoology I will provide a whistle-stop tour to understanding the selfless aspects of the human condition.

I will pay particular attention to the research I have been conducting for the last five years, working with hunter-gatherer tribes living in the rainforests of Northern Congo. This lifestyle reflects more than 90% of our species’ evolutionary history, therefore understanding the function of cooperation and friendship in these populations offers unique insight into their evolutionary origins. As we will see, the proverb ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’ may have been more valid 100,000 years ago than ever.

Venue: The Greenbank, Greenbank

Doors: 7pm / Talk starts: 7.30pm


*Please see venue website for admission (age restrictions) or accessibility information. Our talks may be filmed for promotional purposes.


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Why do humans help one another, sometimes even at a cost to themselves? Members of our species care for the sick, donate to charities and engage in philanthropy. Understanding how such altruistic behaviours could have been favoured by natural sele... Read More
Experience includes:
  • Fascinating lecture 
  • High profile speaker
  • Trendy Bristol venue
  • Unique after-work event
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