PSGB 50th Anniversary Meeting

27-29 November 2017


The Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a meeting at the Royal Geographical Society, London in November. Speakers include Jane Goodall, Frans de Waal, Robin Dunbar, Bob Martin and Russ Mittermeier (scientific program here). This 2-day event includes talks, round-table discussions, posters, and social events. Registration is now open.


Location: London, United Kingdom
Abstract deadline: 4 August 2017

ASAB Winter Meeting 2017

7-8 December 2017

Sexual Selection: Do We Still Need To Test The Alternatives?


The 30 years since the publication of Bradbury and Andersson’s landmark “Sexual selection: testing the alternatives” has seen a wealth of new empirical data on the mechanisms and patterns of sexual selection, alongside major theoretical advances. However, some key concerns remain, including what drives the evolution of mate choice and how sexual selection and natural selection interact. Moreover, the very definition of sexual selection remains contested. In this meeting, the latest findings in sexual selection will be explored, in terms of both theory and experiment, to chart progress in understanding this most beguiling of evolutionary mechanisms, and to map the way forward for the next generation of sexual selection researchers.


Organizers: Nina Wedell & David Shuker

New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives

7-9 November 2016


Developments in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields have produced calls for revision of the standard theory of evolution, although the issues involved remain hotly contested. This scientific discussion meeting, organised in partnership with the British Academy, presented these developments and arguments and encouraged cross-disciplinary discussion. This involved the humanities and social sciences in order to provide further analytical perspectives and explore the social and philosophical implications.


Location: The Royal Society, London, UK
Organizers: Denis Noble, Nancy Cartwright, Sir Patrick Bateson, John Dupré & Kevin Laland

EES Workshop 1: Cause and process in evolution

11-14 May 2017


The aim of this workshop is to initiate close interaction and exchange between philosophers of science and biologists, both within the research programme and outside it, to reflect on the nature of causation in biological evolution. The EES has a different perspective on causation in evolution, and ascribes a greater range of processes evolutionary significance, than traditional perspectives. The workshop will set out to scrutinize these claims, with both philosophers (acting as independent arbiters) and non-project members (including non-sympathizers) present to ensure good debate.


The nature of these differences will be discussed and their implications for the structure of evolutionary theory will be drawn up. In addition to leading to a key synthetic publication, the discussion will effectively provide a guide for continued exchange between conceptual analysis and empirical and theoretical projects within the wider research programme, such that each can benefit from the other, in terms of interpretation and communication of results.


Twitter #CAPIE2017

Blog posts by Wim Hordijk, Jan Baedke and Massimo Pigliucci

KLI event webpage and photo gallery


Location: KLI, Vienna, Austria
Organizers: Tobias Uller & Kevin Laland

Culture Conference 2017: Innovation in cultural systems – an interdisciplinary meeting

25-26 May 2017


Innovation in cultural systems – an interdisciplinary meeting is a two-day interdisciplinary conference sponsored by an ASAB Interdisciplinary Workshop grant and the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham. The conference will bring together researchers from different academic backgrounds together, from archaeology, anthropology, psychology, biology, animal behaviour and philosophy, to discuss recent theories, data, and ideas on innovation.


Innovation plays a critical role in the emergence and spread of new behaviours within both non-human and human culture but its role for cultural evolution has just started to become a focus of research. During the conference, we will discuss the following questions:


  • How can innovation be defined?
  • What is the role of innovation for cultural evolution and cumulative culture?
  • What do we know about processes of innovation?
  • What makes an ‘innovator’?


Location: University of Birmingham, UK
Organizers: Elisa Bandini & Eva Reindl
Abstract deadline: 1 April 2017
Registration deadline: 1 April 2017

EES Workshop 2: Integrating development and inheritance

13-15 February 2018


This workshop will discuss:
(i) the historical origins of the separation of development and inheritance and their description in genetic terms, and how this shaped the development of research programmes within evolutionary biology,
(ii) the possible implications of alternative conceptualizations, and the re-integration of this relationship, that are emerging through recent advances in the biological sciences, and are emphasized by the EES, and
(iii) how experimental work and mathematical modelling best can proceed under constructive views of development and inheritance and the implication it has for how to assign fitness and establish adaptation.


Participants will contribute to a special edition of a relevant journal.


Location: SFI, Sante Fe, USA
Organizers: Kevin Laland & Tobias Uller

EES Workshop 3: Directional biases in evolution

14-16 November 2018


The aim of this workshop is to reflect anew on the processes that give phenotypic evolution directionality. Traditionally, only natural selection was granted a creative role in evolution. However, changing concepts of development, and of the interaction between organism and environment, are increasingly leading researchers to consider a broader range of processes as potentially imposing directionality on evolution, including the evolution of adaptations.


Key foci for the workshop will be developmental bias, niche construction, and the role of plasticity in generating these biases. The workshop will be informed by key theoretical and experimental studies conducted within the wider research programme. Participants will contribute to an edited volume on this topic.


Location: SFI, Sante Fe, USA
Organizers: Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marcus Feldman & Michael Lachmann
More information: workshop website

Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory

1-4 April 2019


Evolutionary biology is a vibrant field with a theoretical framework that itself evolves. The Evolution Evolving conference will focus on some emerging themes in the relationship between development and evolution. Topics include the evolutionary causes and consequences of developmental bias, plasticity, niche construction and extra-genetic inheritance – all of which contribute to an understanding of evolvability. The conference will feature a balanced program of talks and poster sessions spanning three days, and be a mix of empirical and theoretical work, as well as contributions to the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology.


Location: Cambridge, UK
Organizers: Paul Brakefield, Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Katrina Falkenberg & Andrew Buskell
Abstract deadline: 1 December 2018
Early bird registration deadline: 4 January 2019
More information: conference website

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