Launch of the Calleva Research Centre on Evolution and Human Science

03 November 2010

On Saturday 29th October 2010 the College launched the new Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Science with a symposium held in the College Auditorium.

The acclaimed author, scientist and Magdalen alumnus, Dr Matt Ridley (pictured) delivered the keynote lecture. Matt Ridley’s inspiring lecture developed the ideas of his recent book  ‘The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves’ arguing that humans progress through trade and we only trade productively when we trust each other. Other talks were also given by Professor Cecilia Heyes (All Souls College), Dr Jennifer Lau and Dr Freya Harrison.

The Calleva Research Centre will bridge the humanities and the social, cognitive, and evolutionary sciences. The first project of the Centre will bring together psychologists, anthropologists, zoologists and economists to study key questions on how social behaviour develops and changes. The Centre is based in the College and the first Director is Dr Jennifer Lau, Tutorial Fellow in Psychology.

The Centre has been made possible by a very generous donation from a member of the College and his wife. Professor David Clary, President of Magdalen College said “Since our foundation in 1458, Magdalen has been at the forefront of new research and scholarship. The magnificent donation to set up the Calleva Research Centre on Evolution and Human Science will allow this proud tradition to continue and will drive forward interdisciplinary ideas linking the humanities, social sciences and sciences”.