DySoC and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.
Speaker: Dr. Luke J. Matthews, Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Co-Director, RAND Center for Applied Network Analysis and System Science
Time/Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Topic: Cultural inheritance mechanics: Their affordances for evolutionary adaptation and applications to policy analysis
Inheritance, meaning organisms recreating their information states in others, is a fundamental prior for evolution to produce adaptations. Novel insights about adaptation have emerged from formal mathematical models for mechanics of cultural inheritance. Such models often point to emergent phenomena from interactions among individuals being much more than the sum of the individuals' cognitions. I will illustrate such cases from my work on capuchin monkeys and human religious traditions. More practically, strategically intervening in cultural inheritance pathways presents numerous opportunities for improving public policy through analysis, such as my ongoing work to improve HIV prophylaxis prescribing among American physicians.
Luke Matthews is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is co-director of the RAND Center for Applied Network Analysis and Systems Science. Matthews' research focuses on studying cultural diffusion on social networks. His research has been featured in New Scientist, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Prior to joining RAND, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and worked in private industry for a startup social network analytics company. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from New York University.
*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)
For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit /announcements/seminars.