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17:30 - 19:00 28 January 2014

A PROVOCATION The problem of progress: Life, humanity, civilisation


1.02 Lecture Theatre | Malet Place Engineering Building (link Map)
2 Malet Place | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Ticketed

Speaker information

David Price, Opening address, UCL
Mike Rowlands, Speaker, UCL, Anthropology
Nick Lane, Speaker, UCL, Genetics, Evolution and Environment
James Steele, Speaker, UCL, Institute of Archaeology
Maria Wyke, Chair, UCL, Greek & Latin

Investigation of civilisation as a concept and as a social phenomenon is stlll caught up in the problem of progress. Can we escape the damaging legacy of earlier centuries that set the civilised above the primitive? Developmental metaphors have also been used to describe major evolutionary transitions such as those from molecules to chromosomes, or from sound to language. How better can we measure chemical, biological and cultural complexity? This roundtable debate brings together for the first time UCL's three Research Frontier groupings to address fundamental questions about life, humanity and civilisation, to provoke exchange across UCL, and to confront the problem of progress. After preliminary reflection from the speakers, the discussion will be opened up to the audience.


Maria Wyke
+44 (0)020 7679 7522 | m.wyke@ucl.ac.uk


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