John Hawks Massive Human Evolution Bibliography Online

John Hawks, who runs the excellent John Hawks Weblog, has placed his entire collection of 11,500 citations online. He describes the bibliography in his announcement of this wonderful new feature to his blog:

At present this database includes more than 11,500 entries. These represent a large fraction of the historical and contemporary literature in human evolution…

The bibliography has a search filter, search terms will match author, keyword, title or abstract (where present). With more than 11,000 entries, you want to be a little selective about how you search. Author names work really well, and yield a list separated by year of publication.

You’ll find each reference preceded by a unique citation key in brackets. I did this purely for my own convenience, but for those who may want to download lists of citations, it may also prove useful.

A list of search results can be exported to BibTeX or RTF format for download.

There is also a “filter” tab that allows keyword, author, and year filtering of the list. This is really not very useful; the size of the database makes it much simpler to search than to filter all entries.

Link to John Hawks Bibliography

Link to Hawks Announcement and Description of the Online Bibliography

The drawing above is also by John, and I quite liked it. Here’s the link to its original posting over at his Weblog.

Matthew Taylor on human psychology and political change

One of my students, Nikolas Dawson, hipped me to these nifty animated videos developed from lectures at the RSA, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, ‘a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress.’ My student was pointing out a video about recent financial crises, RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism, that combined an edited version of a David Harvey lecture with great animation, but in the process of poking around their website, I realized that there’s an interesting clip for readers at Neuroanthropology.net.

The video is ‘RSA Animate Matthew Taylor: Left brain, right brain,’ and fortunately, it has virtually nothing to say about ‘left brain’ or ‘right brain,’ but is instead a very interesting discussion of the relation between human psychology and the possibility of social and political change. In addition, the animation is great!

The video is linked to the RSA’s project, The Social Brain, which is a platform for a number of expert speakers to discuss how the things we’re learning about the brain help us to understand a range of social issues. If you want to watch the whole video, but without the animation, you can go to YouTube recording of the whole lecture: Matthew Taylor – Left Brain, Right Brain: Human nature and political values. Matthew Taylor has his own blog as well.

The RSA website also has a piece by our colleague, Joan Chiao, ‘Face Value.’ Chiao discusses why some societies seem to prefer hierarchical governments, and others prefer leadership that promotes great egalitarianism, as well as some of the relationship between research on facial preferences and democratic decision making. She concludes:

This cultural diversity in political preferences and structures is proof that our evolutionary instincts for social hierarchy are not cultural destiny and that, through knowledge of where we come from and imagination about whom we may become, we can come closer to building a society with consideration and compassion for all.

For more information about the RSA, especially the Social Brain project, you can read below.

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Post-Doc at UCLA Culture, Brain, and Development Program

The Foundation for Psychocultural Research is offering a post-doctoral fellowship in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on “Culture & Disability: Autism Spectrum Disorder in India & the United States.” The start date is as early as the selected candidate can begin. The post-doc will work with Dr. Thomas Weisner, and be a part of the FPR-UCLA Culture, Brain, Development and Mental Health Program.

Applicants must have a doctoral or M.D. degree and should have interest in pursuing a career involving interdisciplinary research in psychology, culture, human development, family research, neuroscience and psychiatry. The research will involve substantial engagement in the new FPR-UCLA Culture Brain, Development, and Mental Health program, which includes integrative research on neurobiology, culture, child development, and psychopathology. The focus of this call for applications is the project on Culture & Disability: Autism Spectrum Disorder in India & the United States, Thomas S. Weisner, director, Tamara Daley, co-PI.

For more information, you can find all the details on the project, application process, and more at the Culture & Disability website.

Scientopia – A New Platform for Scholarly Blogging

Lots of people are pointing to the new collection of blogs over at Scientopia.org, which came to life in part due to the problems over at ScienceBlogs. Scientopia is ad-free, and also explicitly about science:

Scientopia is a collective of people who write about science because they love to do so. It is a community, held together by mutual respect and operated by consensus, in which people can write, educate, discuss, and learn about science and the process of doing science. In this we explore the interplay between scientific issues and other parts of our lives with the shared goal of making science more accessible.

Scientopia has global categories in Brain & Behavior and in Humanities & Social Sciences, as well as other ones like environment & biology, medicine & pharma, and information & communication. No way (yet, I am hoping) to go directly to those categories – they are simply collections of relevant pieces right there on the front page of Scientopia blogs.

I particularly wanted to do a shout-out to the blog The Urban Ethnographer. It’s fabulous to see anthropology right there in the middle of Scientopia. Krystal D’Costa’s most recent post is Meeting Montauk: The Summer Trade, which takes us out to the eastern tip of Long Island to examine tourism, fishing, and life in a beautiful little town.

On the brain side we’ve got some favorites who’ve migrated over from ScienceBlogs. So Scicurious has her own blog now, Neurotic Physiology, with her most recent post being the irresistible What Is Sweeter Than Cocaine? DrugMonkey is also there, and is looking at the recent debate on synthetic marijuana.

Child’s Play is all about development and cognition, and their latest post is Don’t Bite: A Cognitive Primer, which examines delay of gratification with a focus in this post on cognitive control and neural architecture.

That, and more, over at Scientopia.

Writing: Brains, Science, and Words


As a follow-up to the Virginia Heffernan piece, here’s something in a rather different tone. As I was exploring the reactions to Heffernan’s take on science blogging (a take with numerous faults, yes, yes, but also some valid points), I came across two things that delighted me, as they actually focused on writing.

Livia Blackburne has an engaging blog over at A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing. Her most recent post, The Power of Touch, moves from touch to the scaffolded mind and onto touch imagery, including coverage of recent experimental data. She’s also has a post on fMRI and reading, which she then uses to discuss how to think about narrative in novel ways. And there’s some good comments on that post as well.

Over at Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong started a post where science writers of all stripes have shared their getting-started stories in On the Origin of Science Writers. Ed, whom I admire for how he does science journalism, starts off with his, then Carl Zimmer follows with the next one, and from there you’ve got another 110 stories to explore.

For the anthropologists who might be feeling left out, I wrote a little (well, a lot!) about how we can reach a broader audience, and much of that has to do with the way we write. Some of the ideas are, I hope, equally relevant to science writing.

Four Stone Hearth brought to you by Zenobia

That's MacTut, laddie!

Zenobia: Empress of the East is hosting the latest edition of Four Stone Hearth, the anthropo-carnival. It it’s 97th edition, the carnival this time brings us a pile of good stuff, and although Judith admits she prefers her subjects long dead, and buried in hardened volcanic ash, she brings us a wide range of the fun and fascinating. From Pompeii to monkey adoption, prognasticating octopus to the first cuneiform tablet ever found in Jerusalem to King Tut’s surprisingly small penis, you know that Four Stone Hearth is going to bring you the best of virtual anthropology. And the best is damn good.

So if you’re wondering whether Tut was cursed to be both under-endowed and Scottish (ouch), whether passive sentences are really hard to understand or if it’s just the ‘paper-airplane effect’ in action, or if the Dutch truly have found the answer to the question of overcoming human differences — orange — the what are you still reading this for!? Get ye to Four Stone Hearth!

And by the way, am I the only her person who winds up shouting at the television set, ‘Caster Semanya’s GENDER was never in question! It was her SEX, dammit!’ simply because I hate the way that the word ‘gender’ seems to have simply become a euphemism for whether someone has a winky or not? Okay, maybe it’s just me.