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Politics, religion and the last major transition in evolution Event as iCalendar

25 October 2018


Venue: Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre

Location: Ground Floor, Building 301, 23 Symonds Street, City Campus, Auckland

Host: School of Psychology

Cost: Free. Refreshments served prior at 5.30pm in the Level 2 reception, Building 302.

Over the last 12,000 years, a period of rapid cultural evolution has propelled the default mode of human living from small hunter-gatherer bands to ethnically and economically diverse mega-cities and nation states. 

Understanding this transition to big societies is critical, both for unravelling our evolutionary past and for tackling the challenges of our future.

  • How important were hypothesised cultural drivers of this change, including agriculture, religion and technology?
  • Can a knowledge of this history help us predict the fortunes of big societies of today?
  • And what constraints does our hunter-gatherer psychology place on the political landscape and institutions of modern big societies?

In this inaugural lecture Professor Quentin Atkinson will show how interdisciplinary research on politics, religion and cultural evolution is beginning to offer answers to these questions and provide new insight into the big societies that both unite and divide us.

Please join us for refreshments in the Level 2 reception (Building 302) at 5.30pm.


Professor Quentin Atkinson, School of Psychology
Professor Quentin Atkinson
Hunter-gather society