Past events

Seminars in the 2015/2016 academic year


Dr Camilla Power (University of East London)  The Revolutionary Sex: sexual conflict, language and culture (12th October 2016)

Professor Quentin Cronk (University of British Columbia, Queen Mary University of London): Plant extinction and planetary function: business as usual or are we in crisis? (5th May 2016)

Dr Arkhat Abzhanov (Imperial College London): Evolution of the Animal Face: from Principles to Mechanisms (23rd March 2016)

Dr Natalie Cooper (Natural History Museum): Macroevolution in Fossils and Living Species: Were Dinosaurs Bad News for Mammals? (20th October 2015)

Medawar Lecture 2016

Nicholas Humphrey (Emeritus Professor of Psychology at LSE and Visiting Professor of Philosophy, at the New College of the Humanities).

The Invention of Consciousness

In English we use the word “invention” in two ways. First, to mean a new device or process developed by experimentation, and designed to fulfill a practical goal. Second, to mean a mental fabrication, especially a falsehood, developed by art, and designed to please or persuade. In this talk I’ll argue that human consciousness is an invention in both respects. First, it is a cognitive faculty, evolved by natural selection, designed to help us make sense of ourselves and our surroundings. But then, second, it is a fantasy, conjured up by the brain, designed to persuade us of our own metaphysical importance.

6pm, 26th of January 2015, Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT

LERN trip to Down House

LERN organised a trip to Down House, Charles Darwin’s beautiful and inspiring house in Kent, on Saturday the 3rd of October 2015. We all had a great time!

LERN conference 2015

11th of November at Queen Mary University of London (sponsored by the School of Chemical and Biological Sciences). We had a number of student talks and posters. The keynote speakers were:

Prof Judith Mank (UCL): The genomic basis of sexual dimorphism

Dr. Rosalind Arden (LSE): Evolution, intelligence and sex differences

Medawar Lecture 2014

The Evolution of the Living Time Machine by Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (University of Cambridge)

Einstein supposedly said: Time only exists to prevent everything from happening at once. Although physical time proceeds forever forwards, mental time can travel backwards as well, indeed in every direction. Mental time travel allows us to re-visit our memories and imagine future scenarios. We make use of this process to define multiple realities; ones that define our sense of self in space and time. There is, however a downside, for the very nature of mental time travel impedes and disorientates memories. But are we unique among the animal kingdom in travelling mentally in time? What does this tell us about the evolution of mental time travel?

LERN conference 2014

Wednesday, the 5th of November 2015 at SBCS, Queen Mary University of London. Keynote talks by Dr. Chris Faulkes (QMUL) and Dr. Michael Price (Brunel).