Virtue and violence in human evolution

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 17 January

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Profile Books


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Drawing on new research by geneticists, neuroscientists, primatologists, and archaeologists, Richard Wrangham will show that what domesticated our species was nothing less than the invention of capital punishment. But how could our low aggressiveness evolve from repeated acts of aggression? Wrangham solves this puzzle and in doing so, proposes a fascinating new theory for the origin of Homo sapiens.

About the speaker

Richard Wrangham is Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University. He is the author of 'Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human', and 'Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence' (with Dale Peterson). Professor Wrangham is a leader in primate behavioral ecology. He is the recipient of the Rivers Memorial Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Book signing

Copies of Richard's book, 'The Goodness Paradox: How Evolution Made Us Both More and Less Violent', will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. 

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