Rutgers to host 14th annual Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting

June 06, 2002

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Are there differences in the way men and women react to threats to personal safety? Do women think taller men are better providers? Does your walking speed reveal your socioeconomic status? What is the evolution of humor and laughter?

More than 400 leading scholars and students will explore these and other questions at the 14th annual Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) meeting to be held June 19 to 23 on the Rutgers' College Avenue campus in New Brunswick. Presentations will run 8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. June 20-22 and 8:30 a.m. to noon on June 23.

Sponsored by Rutgers' anthropology department and Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, the five-day meeting will feature more than 250 presentations of the latest research findings on evolutionary theory and the quest to better understand human nature.

"This meeting is the single most important international forum for cutting-edge work on the links between evolution and human behavior," said Lee Cronk, associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers and meeting chair. "Our ability to attract this meeting to Rutgers testifies to the leading role that our institution has played in the study of human nature from its beginnings in the 1960s with the work of Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger to the more recent flowering of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology."

Presentations will be given by world-renowned academics including Timothy Birkhead of the University of Sheffield in England; David Buss of the University of Texas; Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, both of the University of California-Santa Barbara; Helen Fisher, Robin Fox, Dieter Steklis, Lionel Tiger and Robert Trivers, all of Rutgers; Steven Gangestad, Geoffrey Miller and Randy Thornhill, all of the University of New Mexico; Randolph Nesse of the University of Michigan; Craig Palmer of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs; and Wulf Schiefenhövel of the Max-Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Germany.

Founded in 1988 at the University of Michigan, HBES consists of scholars from a variety of fields, including psychology, anthropology, psychiatry, economics, medicine, law, philosophy, literature, biology, sociology, business, artificial intelligence, political science and art. HBES' international membership includes residents of North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and the Far East. Despite its diversity of disciplines and nationalities, its members speak the common language of Darwinism.

The Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers is one of the leading research, teaching and training programs in the study of the evolution of human behavior. Established by Rutgers' department of anthropology in 1996, the center's internationally respected faculty, research associates, and graduate, undergraduate and foreign students are engaged in research at some of the world's premier localities for the study of our closest living primate relatives, and for the investigation of the fossilized remains and archaeological traces of our early human ancestors.

The meeting will be divided into sessions to be held at the Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Ave., and in Brower Commons, located directly across the street from the student center.

Rutgers University

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