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Cultural Evolution Society
2016 Voter’s Manual
Prepared by:
	 Joe Brewer
	 Culture Designer
	 Evolution Institute
	 July 8...
Table of Contents
Section Heading Page Range
How to Use This Voter Manual 3
Full Disclosure of Election Procedures 4-5
How...
How to Use This Voter Manual
The inaugural election will be held online starting on Monday, July 11th and ending six weeks...
Full Disclosure of Election Procedures
As we go through the process of birthing the Cultural Evolution Society, we are tak...
3. After filling these positions on the ballot, re-organize the remaining nominees and filter
them into the eight member-at-...
Get to Know Your Candidates

The remainder of this pamphlet includes biographical sketches for all the candidates and a
st...
Peter J. Richerson
Presidential Candidate
How my research relates to cultural evolution: My research focuses on the proces...
Dan Sperber
Presidential Candidate
I have been approached by the Election Committee of the Cultural Evolution Society to b...
Fiona Jordan
Candidate for Secretary Position
I am a cultural evolutionary anthropologist and my main domains of interest ...
Peter Neal Peregrine
Candidate for Secretary Position
I am an archaeologist who specializes in the evolution of social com...
Tanya Broesch
Candidate for Treasurer Position
My research and the field of Cultural Evolution:
My research spans the fields...
Alex Mesoudi
Candidate for Treasurer Position
How my research relates to the field of cultural evolution:
My 2011 book, Cul...
Kenichi Aoki
Member-at-Large Position 1 — Male from Asian Region
Current affiliation 1: Emeritus professor, University of T...
Masanori Takezawa
Member-at-Large Position 1 — Male from Asian Region
How my research relates to the field of Cultural Evol...
Sumitava Mukherjee
Member-at-Large Position 2 — Female/Male from India Region
My interests are in human preference, judgme...
Shruti Tewari
Member-at-Large Position 2 — Female/Male from India Region
I am a behavioural scientist, D. Phil in Psycholo...
Purity Kiura
Member-at-Large Position 3 — Female from Africa Region
Dr. Purity Kiura is the Director of Museums, Sites and...
Michele Gelfand
Member-at-Large Position 4 — Female from Open Regions
Michele J. Gelfand is a professor of psychology and ...
Russell Gray
Member-at-Large Position 5 — Male from Open Regions
My research spans the areas of cultural evolution, lingui...
Andrew Whiten
Member-at-Large Position 5 — Male from Open Regions
I am Wardlaw Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental...
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
Member-at-Large Position 6 — Female from Open Regions
I am a human behavioural ecologist with str...
Quentin Atkinson
Member-at-Large Position 7 — Male from Open Regions
My research draws on tools from molecular systematics...
Rob Boyd
Member-at-Large Position 7 — Male from Open Regions
Relevance to cultural evolution
Most of my research focuses o...
Laurel Fogarty
Member-at-Large Position 8 — Female from Open Regions
How your research relates to the field of Cultural Evo...
Michelle Kline
Member-at-Large Position 8 — Female from Open Regions
Humans display extraordinary behavioral diversity in ...
Joshua Conrad Jackson
Male Student Representative Candidate
Joshua Conrad Jackson is an incoming doctoral student and Nati...
• To maximize visibility of cultural evolution research, Josh would help create an accessible and
informative online home ...
Jessica Borushok
Female Student Representative Candidate
I am currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Bow...
Nicole Wen
Female Student Representative Candidate
My Research:
I study cognitive and social development from an interdisc...
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Cultural Evolution Society 2016 Voter's Manual

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The inaugural election will be held online starting on Monday, July 11th and ending six weeks later on August 22nd. During this time, CES members will have the opportunity to fill out a ballot to select their preferred candidates for the 13 positions on the Executive Committee.
You can use this manual to do the following:
1. Learn about the selection process for nominating and recruiting candidates for this election.
2. Read personal statements from each of the candidates to make informed decisions about which candidate you prefer for each officer position.

The first section, titled Full Disclosure of Election Procedures, explains the steps we took to ensure a fair election while striving to meet an ambitious set of diversity criteria. It is written in the spirit of radical transparency and inclusion to get this society started with the openness and integrity that will be essential to our long-term success as a multidisciplinary scientific (and practitioner) community.
This is followed by another section, called Get to Know Your Candidates, that provides brief bios and personal statements from the 23 candidates running for office in this election. Use these materials to become familiar with the excellent lineup of people who have expressed the passion and commitment to run for one of the officer positions: president, secretary, treasurer, member-at-large, or student representative.

This manual was prepared by the CES Elections Committee to assist with inaugural elections. We hope you find it helpful as you vote for the first Executive Council of the Cultural Evolution Society.

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Cultural Evolution Society 2016 Voter's Manual

  1. 1. Cultural Evolution Society 2016 Voter’s Manual Prepared by: Joe Brewer Culture Designer Evolution Institute July 8th, 2016

  2. 2. Table of Contents Section Heading Page Range How to Use This Voter Manual 3 Full Disclosure of Election Procedures 4-5 How We Ran the Nomination Process 4 A Note About Lack of Female Presidential Candidates 5 Evolving the Future of CES Elections 5 Get to Know Your Candidates 6-29 Presidential Candidates 7-8 Candidates for Secretary Position 9-10 Candidates for Treasurer Position 11-12 Position 1 — Male from Asian Region 13-14 Position 2 — Female/Male from India Region 15-16 Position 3 — Female from Africa and South America 17 Position 4 — Female from Open Regions 18 Position 5 — Male from Open Regions 19-20 Position 6 — Female from Open Regions 21 Position 7 — Male from Open Regions 22-23 Position 8 — Female from Open Regions 24-25 Male Student Representative 26-27 Female Student Representative 28-29 
 Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "2
  3. 3. How to Use This Voter Manual The inaugural election will be held online starting on Monday, July 11th and ending six weeks later on August 22nd. During this time, CES members will have the opportunity to fill out a ballot to select their preferred candidates for the 13 positions on the Executive Committee. You can use this manual to do the following: 1. Learn about the selection process for nominating and recruiting candidates for this election. 2. Read personal statements from each of the candidates to make informed decisions about which candidate you prefer for each officer position. The section below, titled Full Disclosure of Election Procedures, explains the steps we took to ensure a fair election while striving to meet an ambitious set of diversity criteria. It is written in the spirit of radical transparency and inclusion to get this society started with the openness and integrity that will be essential to our long-term success as a multidisciplinary scientific (and practitioner) community. This is followed by another section, called Get to Know Your Candidates, that provides brief bios and personal statements from the 23 candidates running for office in this election. Use these materials to become familiar with the excellent lineup of people who have expressed the passion and commitment to run for one of the officer positions: president, secretary, treasurer, member-at- large, or student representative. ————— This manual was prepared by the CES Elections Committee to assist with inaugural elections. We hope you find it helpful as you vote for the first Executive Council of the Cultural Evolution Society. CES Elections Committee Joe Brewer Marc Feldman Cristine Legare Sarah Mathew Richard McElreath Peter Turchin (chair) Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "3
  4. 4. Full Disclosure of Election Procedures As we go through the process of birthing the Cultural Evolution Society, we are taking special care to be as open and transparent as possible about what we are doing to establish strong foundations for ethical practice and cooperative social norms. Think of it as applying the insights from our field to the society formation process to create a “cultural genome” that gives us better chances of success in the long run. Here is the way we described it in the diversity mandate created to guide the election process:1 We are applying the findings of cultural evolution to the society itself—by recognizing the need to structure the inaugural leadership around policies and people who embody the founder effect for the future of science. This is our challenge in the nomination and election process. And it will become a mandate for deep diversity (across all four diversity categories) in the formal bylaws and organizational practices of the society beyond the first election. The four diversity categories are gender representation, stage of career, regional and cultural representation, and knowledge diversity. Our objective with this election is to create an Executive Committee with an equal number of women and men, that brings together researchers from many different fields relevant to cultural evolution, and that plants seeds for becoming truly global in membership as we become established geographically in the first few years of our existence. How We Ran the Nomination Process
 An initial call was put out to the membership asking for nominations—based on officer descriptions written into the CES Election Manual. We received a large number of names (108 in total) as many2 of you shared who you felt would be a qualified leader in this crucial start-up phase. It quickly became clear that we would have difficulty ranking and filtering this collection of names. So we initiated a three step process: 1. Arrange the nominees in a spreadsheet using the four diversity categories above. 2. Begin with officer positions for president, secretary, treasurer, and student representative to recruit candidates that had received multiple nominations or ranked highly according to diversity criteria. http://www.slideshare.net/joebrewer31/a-mandate-for-deep-diversity-in-the-cultural-evolution-society1 http://www.slideshare.net/joebrewer31/cultural-evolution-society-election-manual2 Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "4
  5. 5. 3. After filling these positions on the ballot, re-organize the remaining nominees and filter them into the eight member-at-large positions based on the goal to have at least one representative from Africa, Asia, South America, and India. This took longer than we originally anticipated. But we are very pleased with the results! A Note About Lack of Female Presidential Candidates
 We are very familiar with the difficulties surrounding gender equality in the professional world. It became apparent early in the election process that effort was needed to recruit founding members from all genders—when we observed that a mere 22% of those who had filled out member profiles were women. The intervention we took was to actively solicit more women to join the society, increasing the proportion to 37% in a matter of days. When it came time to construct the ballot, we chose the selection of an equal number of female candidates by creating male/female member-at-large positions and including qualified women for each of the officer positions that were gender inclusive. The only failure in this attempt was with the office of president. There was such strong support for selecting Peter J. Richerson to run for president that he stood out immediately as a candidate to run for this position. Our elections committee then chose to recruit female-only candidates to run against him—with the policy already set out that both candidates in this special election will become president (with the winner taking office now while the runner-up becomes president elect for the sake of continuity in leadership). We sought out several female candidates, all of whom are highly qualified and would be phenomenal leaders in this key position. Unfortunately, for many structural and historical reasons, each of these women was in high demand already and fully committed elsewhere, making them unable to run for office in our society. We discussed this situation at length and came to the decision that we would recruit a second candidate with a strong track record on gender equality in science. It was a great pleasure to secure the candidacy of Dan Sperber for this position. He is recognized globally as a major intellectual contributor to cultural evolutionary studies and has a strong track record of advocacy for inclusivity and fairness when it comes to gender equality. Evolving the Future of CES Elections
 We are delighted by the quality and diversity of strengths embodied by the 23 people running for office in this inaugural election. Hopefully it is clear that we are taking great care to set off with momentum while laying solid foundations for the future. Our heartfelt attempts to achieve diversity have resulted in a great lineup of candidates. Now you can help make this election a success by participating—be sure to vote! And let us know if you would like to speak with us directly about any of the proceedings that have occurred thus far in the electoral process. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "5
  6. 6. Get to Know Your Candidates The remainder of this pamphlet includes biographical sketches for all the candidates and a statement about their vision for the Cultural Evolution Society. There are 23 candidates in total running for the following positions: ✦ President :: Chair of Executive Committee ✦ Secretary :: Manages meetings and reports outcomes to society members ✦ Treasurer :: Manages financial aspects of the organizations ✦ Member-at-Large :: Ambassadors who represent key diversity objectives for society ✦ Student Representative :: Ambassadors for students and early career members ————— Remainder of page intentionally left blank ————— Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "6
  7. 7. Peter J. Richerson Presidential Candidate How my research relates to cultural evolution: My research focuses on the processes of cultural evolution. My 1985 book with Robert Boyd, Culture and the Evolutionary Process, applied the mathematical tools used by organic evolutionists to study a number of basic problems in human cultural evolution. My other books with Boyd include Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, an introduction to cultural evolution aimed at a broad audience and The Origins and Evolution of Cultures, a compendium of our more important papers and book chapters. My recent publications used theoretical models to try to understand some of the main events in human evolution, such as the evolution of our advanced capacity for imitation (and hence cumulative cultural evolution) in humans, the origins of tribal and larger scale cooperation, the origins of agriculture, and the evolution of modernity in the last few centuries. My colleagues and I also investigate cultural evolution in laboratory microsocieties. More at www.des.ucdavis.edu/ faculty/richerson/richerson.htm. My vision for the Cultural Evolution Society: Cultural evolution should play a central role in the human sciences and a non-trivial supporting role in the non-human behavioral sciences. I view the sciences of evolution as a set of conceptual, mathematical and empirical tools for solving problems where change through time is an important dimension. The primary mission of the Society should be to promote knowledge of these tools as widely as possible. One part of this mission is to support the scholarship of those of us for whom cultural evolution is a central preoccupation. Another part is to maintain an open relationship with cognate disciplines whose tools we borrow and whose projects a knowledge of cultural evolution might assist. Examples include history, archaeology, paleoanthropology, developmental psychology, behavior analysis, evolutionary and comparative biology, and all of the standard social sciences. I hope and expect that most of our members will be contributing to these cognate disciplines as well as to cultural evolution narrowly construed. Some of our members will be practitioners and applied scientists. By means of our meetings, publications, and other activities we should endeavor to support the work of all our members. Beyond the traditional role of a scientific society, the CES should take an active role in educating other scientists and the public about cultural evolution, for example by making available online resources to support teaching activities at every level of the curriculum. The Society should take active steps to promote diversity in its membership and activities. All genders, races, and cultures should feel at home among us. Vast human diversity is what cultural evolution has produced and we ought to be happy to embrace it in the activities of the Society!
 Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "7
  8. 8. Dan Sperber Presidential Candidate I have been approached by the Election Committee of the Cultural Evolution Society to be one of the two nominees for President of the Society. This is a great honor and I gratefully accepted, comforted in this acceptance by the knowledge that the other nominee is Pete Richerson whose work I greatly admire. Pete is, I believe, uniquely well-qualified to be our first president. When my turn comes, I will bring to the job the perspective of a European scholar coming to the study of cultural evolution from the social and the cognitive sciences. A word about me: I started my scholarly career as a social anthropologist and did fieldwork in Ethiopia. Dissatisfied with the state of anthropological theory and favoring a naturalistic perspective, I turned to theoretical work, with, in particular, three books: Rethinking Symbolism (1975) On Anthropological Knowledge (1985), and Explaining Culture (1996). I argued for an “epidemiological” approach to culture paying attention to the many cognitive mechanisms that play a role in cultural evolution and developed the idea of “cultural attraction.” My interest in cognitive mechanisms has led me to work in linguistics (resulting in two books, coauthored with Deirdre Wilson: Relevance: Communication and Cognition in 1986 and Relevance and Meaning in 2012) and in cognitive science. My interest in cognitive mechanisms and their role in culture has been much stimulated by the development of evolutionary psychology, a field to which I contribute. I am currently emeritus research professor at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, and professor in the Departments of Cognitive Science and of Philosophy of the Central European University in Budapest. I joined our society as soon as its foundation was announced, convinced that not just scholars studying cultural evolution but also scholars in neighbouring fields – biology, ecology, cognitive sciences, and social sciences – stood to gain from such a joining of forces. I am in full agreement with the goals of the Society and in particular with the goal of structural inclusivity: gender, stage of career, regional and cultural representation, and knowledge diversity for synthesis. I will be active in promoting all these goals. I feel that, given my background, I might be particularly competent in promoting the pluridisciplinarity of the Society and in working to convince social and cognitive scientists, who, too often, are reticent, that they can both make crucial contributions and greatly benefit in their own work by collaborating to the development of a naturalistic approach to the study of cultural evolution. I am also interested in our taking full advantage of the Web to build a scientific society innovative in the way it secures communication among its members and with the wider scientific community. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "8
  9. 9. Fiona Jordan Candidate for Secretary Position I am a cultural evolutionary anthropologist and my main domains of interest are in the cultural evolution of kinship, social organisation, and language. I'm a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Bristol, an Affiliate Researcher at the MPI for the Science of Human History, and previously worked at the MPI Psycholinguistics and University College London. Like most anthropologists, I want to understand cultural diversity. There are two parts to that inquiry: Why do humans–a single species–have so much variation in behaviour and culture? But: Why don’t human societies vary more? These are fundamentally questions about cultural evolution and the transmission of ideas, and my research seeks to approach these questions by combining methods, data, and theory from biology, psychology, anthropology, and linguistics. My core subfield is cultural phylogenetics: understanding cultural diversity using the same statistical tools that biologists use to investigate evolutionary and diversity processes in other species. This has been a fruitful and rigorous approach to understanding the cultural evolutionary processes that create human diversity in language and social norms. I am particularly interested in kinship and language, and my primary region of interest is the Austronesian-speaking world. I think interdisciplinarity is critical to understanding human cultural diversity, and so I like to use my ability to translate between fields to bring people and ideas together, and to puzzle away at cultural diversity using a wide variety of tools. The "dark side" of interdisciplinarity is intellectual homelessness, but the Cultural Evolution Society can change that for those of us in all fields of the human social sciences. I have been struck by the unrivaled vibrancy and richness of conversations at one-off meetings and workshops that bring together the cultural evolution community. The founders of the CES recognised that there is critical mass, that we are well represented at many key conferences, on editorial boards, and departmental hallways, and it's timely that we have a home of our own. My excitement for the society is that the CES will allow a step-change in our research trajectories, particularly in the development of theory and the broadening of the empirical research base. CES meetings, publications, and initiatives will free up that critical portion of the conversation where we must justify evolutionary approaches to culture, allowing us to delve deeper into the conceptual and practical challenges we face, and push forward research into new domains of enquiry and outwards to engage with communities beyond academia. I am particularly convinced that a Cultural Evolution journal is critical as a venue for rapid and open-access dissemination of our expanding field and would look to work together with the President and other Officers towards that goal.   Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "9
  10. 10. Peter Neal Peregrine Candidate for Secretary Position I am an archaeologist who specializes in the evolution of social complexity, with a particular focus on the evolution of states. My work is comparative, and I have spent much of my career developing data sets and methods for doing diachronic analysis of archaeological data. My Atlas of Cultural Evolution (2001) and related 9-volume Encyclopedia of Prehistory (2001-2002) were the foundation for the eHRAF Collection of Archaeology, which has become a seminal data source for the study of cultural evolution though the archaeological record. I have published widely on cultural evolution and continue research as a contributor to the Seshat project and the Santa Fe Institute’s ongoing work on the evolution of complexity. Despite my efforts and those of many hard-working colleagues, cultural evolution remains a peripheral subject within archaeology, and one that is anathema among most anthropologists. The Cultural Evolution Society will provide a base for promoting the study of cultural evolution. It will bring together scholars from disparate disciplines to conduct research demonstrating the potential and importance of understanding cultural evolution. It will offer opportunities for publishing and grant-seeking that are difficult for many engaged in the study of cultural evolution. And it will encourage academic and funding organizations to support the types of interdisciplinary research that are necessary to address the problems of cultural evolution. The Cultural Evolution Society represents the our best opportunity to unify and advance the study of cultural evolution. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "10
  11. 11. Tanya Broesch Candidate for Treasurer Position My research and the field of Cultural Evolution: My research spans the fields of psychology, anthropology and philosophy. I take an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to understanding the ontogeny of social learning across diverse societies. My research is driven by the quest to understand how children learn from others and how this changes in development. I examine infant social learning, early childhood learning, as well as adult knowledge transmission. Specifically, I look at how variation in early social experience may alter developmental pathways and learning strategies. I take a micro-analytic approach, examining decision-making and non-verbal behavior in real time through video recorded observations. I rely heavily on video recordings of experiments, structured observations as well as natural observations, to closely examine behavior. Ultimately, I look for converging evidence across diverse societies to shed light on questions of human development and cultural transmission. My vision for the Cultural Evolution Society: If elected, I will integrate existing evidence in the field of developmental psychology with current theories of cultural evolution to provide a unified framework for understanding human cultural learning. Developmental psychology has made great strides in understanding social learning over the first few years of life. My goal is to examine existing evidence conducted in Western, urban societies to determine whether they are generalizable across diverse human cultural groups and whether current evidence supports knowledge and predictions from cultural evolution. I will bring a cross-cultural, developmental perspective to the society. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "11
  12. 12. Alex Mesoudi Candidate for Treasurer Position How my research relates to the field of cultural evolution: My 2011 book, Cultural Evolution, provides an overview of the field of cultural evolution, from models to experiments, ethnographic field studies to cultural phylogenetics and historical dynamics. This builds on a 2006 Behavioral and Brain Sciences article which argued that evolutionary theory provides a synthetic framework for integrating the social sciences, much as evolutionary theory synthesised the biological sciences in the mid-20th century. My empirical work has involved lab experiments probing the behavioural processes (e.g. social learning biases) that people employ in various situations, and which constitute cultural micro-evolution. Much of this work is in collaboration with archaeologists and anthropologists, with the aim of linking these microevolutionary processes to macro-evolutionary patterns of cultural change. I have also constructed models of cultural evolution, most recently looking at the factors that facilitate and constrain cumulative cultural evolution. More details can be found on my website: https:// sites.google.com/site/amesoudi2/ My vision for the society: I foresee a truly interdisciplinary and inclusive society that permits and encourages collaboration between scholars and practitioners from diverse traditional disciplines studying diverse topics. Cultural evolution is important because of its interdisciplinarity, but this is also why it is so hard. Cultural evolution researchers come from a range of traditional disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, psychology, biology, economics, linguistics, history and sociology. Each have their own long-established conferences, journals and societies. Having held positions in psychology, anthropology, archaeology and biology departments, I know the challenges of working across more than one discipline. I envision a society that adds genuine value to existing disciplines and provides a space for like-minded experts and novices with different backgrounds to exchange ideas, methods and data. I am delighted to see the CES already striving to maximise the diversity of its membership, as well as plan to tackle major real-world challenges such as inequality. I would also like to push for the formation of a fully open access society journal, and provide resources for encouraging rigorous, replicable science. I have previously been Treasurer and Steering Committee member of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA), so I have experience running finances for large scientific societies. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "12
  13. 13. Kenichi Aoki Member-at-Large Position 1 — Male from Asian Region Current affiliation 1: Emeritus professor, University of Tokyo
 Current affiliation 2: Visiting research associate, Meiji University
 Email: kenaoki@meiji.ac.jp
 Home address: Higashi-Itchoda 7-5, Mishima 411-0026, Japan How my research relates to the field of cultural evolution. My background is in biological anthropology (B.S. and M.S, University of Tokyo) with methodological input from theoretical population genetics (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison). The focus of my research has been on theoretical (mathematical) models of gene-culture coevolution and of cultural evolution per se. Recently, I have been working with archaeologists trying to understand cultural evolution during the Paleolithic, in particular how cultural differences between archaic and modern humans might have contributed to the replacement of the former by the latter (“RNMH” project supported by a grant from the Japan Ministry of Education, 2010-2014). Three recent publications relevant to these efforts are: (1) Aoki K (2015) Modeling abrupt cultural regime shifts during the Palaeolithic and Stone Age. Theor Popul Biol 100, 6-12. (2) Gilpin W, Feldman MW, and Aoki K (2016) An ecocultural model predicts Neanderthal extinction through competition with modern humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113, 2134-2139. (3) Mesoudi A, Aoki K, eds. (2015) Learning Strategies and Cultural Evolution during the Palaeolithic, Springer, Tokyo (ISBN 978-4-431-55362-5) Vision for the society. Unfortunately, I cannot see far into the future, and my vision is limited to two short-term goals. The first, intra-disciplinary, one is to engender more crosstalk among researchers working on theoretical models of cultural evolution. In particular, I am interested in comparing insights obtained from the theoretical (and empirical) study of cultural evolution in historical and prehistorical times. This goal might be achieved by organizing international workshops. The second, inter-disciplinary, one is to promote collaboration between cultural evolutionists on the one hand and field archaeologists, anthropologists, and ethnographers on the other. Toward achieving this latter goal, we have applied for a major grant to the Japan Ministry of Education, which if approved will become effective in early July 2016. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "13
  14. 14. Masanori Takezawa Member-at-Large Position 1 — Male from Asian Region How my research relates to the field of Cultural Evolution: Since when I investigated the evolutionary foundations of the communal sharing norm in my dissertation, I have been working on the problem of the evolution of cooperation using both evolutionary game theoretical models and laboratory experiments. As I was originally trained as an experimental social psychologist and didn't receive any formal education of mathematical models, I spent a hard time for acquiring the skill of evolutionary game theory that is necessary for doing a research on the evolution of cooperation. I was lucky because my office mate at Max Planck Institute in Berlin was Richard McElreath, who was writing the textbook on the evolutionary game theory for math novices at that time. From my own experiences, I know how tough it is for non- technical person to get used to the math models and what I want to pursue in the Society if elected is strongly motivated by this experience. In the last several years, I started three projects with my students related to the field of Cultural Evolution; experimental studies on gene-culture coevolutionary models of institutions and social norms, laboratory experiments of cumulative cultural evolution of scientific knowledge and technology, and theoretical models on the role of transmission fidelity in cumulative cultural evolution (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/ Masanori_Takezawa, http://researchmap.jp/read0150910/). My vision for the Society that I will pursue if elected: The field of cultural evolution has greatly expanded in the last decade and succeeded in attracting researchers from various fields. I believe the main reason for the success lies in the integration of rich empirical data and solid theoretical models. As everybody knows, modern research in cultural evolution is founded on the seminal theoretical works in 1970~80's developed by Cavalli-Sforza, Feldman, Aoki, Boyd and Richerson. Since then, mathematical models have provided the basis for empirical research and helped researchers from different disciplines communicate each other by providing a common language. However, math is difficult. Many empirical researchers have difficulty in understanding formal models of cultural evolution. Special care is necessary for spreading the common language in the society and achieve the scientific integrity. If elected, I would like to exert an effort so that the society provides opportunities for non-technical members to acquire the basic understanding of the modelling techniques. Even if some members don't explicitly use the math models in their research, such knowledge definitely helps empirical and theoretical researchers understand and communicate each other, and make the CES a cohesive scientific society.
 Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "14
  15. 15. Sumitava Mukherjee Member-at-Large Position 2 — Female/Male from India Region My interests are in human preference, judgment and decision making. For many of the actions taken in society and thinking that permeates different groups of people, the crux lies in how we think and decide about a course of action of a social scenario/problem. In that light, judgments and decisions are intermingled in almost all facets of cultural mixes. Another important aspect I am personally interested in is how do people form preferences and modify or manipulate those based on current goals, context, people, needs, constraints and complexities. Much of cultural evolution is bound to influence preferences people might have (both individually and as a group) which affects judgments and decisions. It is also important to note that it is a bidirectional relations where judgments and decisions influence preferences too. Understanding the products of cultural evolution would hence be tied to understanding, measuring and possibly intervening on people's preferences, judgments and decisions, that blends my interests with the broader aim of the society. According to me, the vision and work ahead for the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) should be handled with three perspectives/goals. The first would be to work as a broadcasting medium by identifying a roadmap with actionable agendas that include writing on cultural evolution and reaching it through different media to many more people. At the same time, plan for memberships among those who are interested. If it is not possible to open up membership, then the reach can be expanded by hosting talks by the founders in different locales spearheaded by the regional ambassadors/representatives. The second goal would be to identify a set of research directions that can be picked up from the regional social problems. Regional ambassadors can cooperate with others on the society board or with researchers from other disciplines locally (for example a cognitive psychologist can collaborate with an urban planner or a humanities scholar) to think about city/social development problems. If research is initially tough to roll out, then one can start with writing more extensively on these social problems and try findings links with socio-cultural evolution. The Evolution Institute is already doing it and this would mean more collaborative articles to increase the breadth of reach. The third goal would be advocacy. This would imply taking some constructive steps to reach the thinking to those who are stakeholders (like citizens) and those who are in power (like politicians or civic administration). It might be possible to send brief 2-4 page brochures that can also be disbursed online. After some time, it shall be ideal to host small regional meetings/seminars that link the researchers, administration and common public and that is when such initiatives can truly reach out to people. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "15
  16. 16. Shruti Tewari Member-at-Large Position 2 — Female/Male from India Region I am a behavioural scientist, D. Phil in Psychology from University of Allahabad, India. My doctoral research investigates coping with physical disability using the multivariate transactional model of stress. After a year of teaching, I took up a post-doctoral fellowship (as Research Director) in an Indo-British Collaborative Project on ‘Impact of collective participation and social identification at Magh Mela’ at the Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad in collaboration with University of Dundee and University of St. Andrews, UK funded by Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), UK. We gave empirical support to the notion why and how crowds are good for us. Shared identity, relatedness and collective self-realisation found to be key factors lead to positive experience and enhanced social identity. Along with significant theoretical contributions, the project also attracted public attention including BBC, National Geography Magazine, Science and other international digital media. Currently, I am working as assistant professor at Indian Institute of Management, Indore. My research employs mixed-methods, combining qualitative methodologies with surveys and experiments. I have been teaching courses on culture & cognition and social cognition for the last four years. Broadly speaking, my research interests are diverse and inclined to explore the socio-cognitive explanation of individual and group behaviour in reference to cultural transmission. To date my research has two main areas of focus : A) To understand the attentional mechanisms underline intergroup behavior; in group favoritism and out group hatred with a particular focus on process of radicalization and religion, and B) to understand cognitive mechanisms determining coping with stress. Coming to my vision on what I will like to achieve with the Cultural Evolution Society, I truly appreciate the notion that the society aims to connect evolutionary science with public policy formulation. From the days of my doctoral research, I have observed closely the failure of policy implementation due to lack of open dialogue across scientists and other stakeholders in the disability policy sector. In one of my recent chapters (in an edited book on Psychology and Social Policies in India published by Springer), I have highlighted an urgent need to practice scientific knowledge in disability policy making and implementation in India. It requires two fold initiatives. The research should address social and policy relevant issues and these insights should be taken forward by the public stakeholders. I am trying to unfold the cultural-cognitive explanation underlying radicalization and extremist behaviour as well, which is one of the serious social issues we have to address. I believe, by focusing on role of cognitive mechanisms in cultural evolution, we can provide valid explanations for many of such unresolved social issues. I hope this society will work effectively to facilitate socially relevant research and to spread the evolutionary wisdom to the non-academic world. Through my empirical research and active role in connecting it to public policy formulation, I would like to effectively frontward this vision of the society. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "16
  17. 17. Purity Kiura Member-at-Large Position 3 — Female from Africa Region Dr. Purity Kiura is the Director of Museums, Sites and Monuments and a Senior Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya. She is a trained geologist and archaeologist having undertaken her undergraduate studies in Geology at the University of Nairobi in 1997 and a Masters and Doctorate degree in Anthropology at Rutgers University, New Jersey in 2005. As a Director she is in charge of all museums, sites and monuments in Kenya and this involves heritage management and conservation through surveying, mapping and gazzettment of these sites. In addition her duties include information dissemination through development of exhibitions and public programs within the different museums in Kenya. As a Senior Research Scientist her research interests include human origins and technology as well as human subsistence and settlement patterns. In addition, she is also interested in the study of modern peoples, landscapes and environments ithin East Africa. In addition to the research, coordination of training programs and heritage management, Dr. Kiura is currently involved with conservation awareness efforts of Kenya’s heritage for economic investment through various activities; 1. Monitoring and mitigation of prehistory resources especially in areas where there are economic development activities (e.g. energy exploration, irrigation schemes and other investments) 2. Developing investment products using Kenya’s Heritage for country’s economic development 3. Community participation in the conservation of both Cultural and Natural Heritage. 4. Training and education of youth as heritage managers in areas where Kenya’s heritage is found. 5. Following up on international obligations and convention matters on heritage management such as UNESCO convention on heritage. Vision for Cultural Evolution Society “Cultural evolution” can be described as a process of change in the traits manifested within a population that is explained by various forms of social learning among species members. These traits include beliefs, knowledge, customs, skills, attitudes, languages and others and infact shape a society. A Cultural Evolution Society would be important to enhance human understanding of what cultural evolution is and its importance within society. My vision as a member of the Society is therefore to make Cultural Evolution studies more widely acceptable especially in Africa where such studies are less attractive. In addition, I would be more interested in developing cultural evolution programs which strive to introduce culture as the basis for the growth of an society and more so its economic growth just like in the past when economics had plenty of room for the impulses of human behavior. 
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  18. 18. Michele Gelfand Member-at-Large Position 4 — Female from Open Regions Michele J. Gelfand is a professor of psychology and Distinguished University Scholar Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gelfand’s research deals with cultural influences in conflict, negotiation, revenge and forgiveness, and the nature and strength of norms across cultures. In this research, Gelfand uses behavioral, neuroscience, computational, and ethnographic methods to understand the evolution of culture and its consequences for nations, organizations, teams, and individuals. She collaborates frequently with political scientists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists, and has published her work in generalist journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Her publications have been cited over 14,000 times. Gelfand co-edited the Handbook of Negotiation and Culture, and the Psychology of Conflict and Conflict Management, and she is the founding co- editor of the Advances in Culture and Psychology series and of the Frontiers of Culture and Psychology series published by Oxford University Press. She recently co-edited a special issue on culture for Current Opinion which brought together over 30 papers from different disciplines on innovations in cultural science. Gelfand is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, Academy of Management, Society for Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, and elected member of the Society for Organizational Behavior and Society for Experimental Social Psychology. She received the Annaliese Maier Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in 2012 and the Edward Diener Award for Career Contributions in 2016. In 2015, Gelfand co-organized a workshop at the University of Maryland with David Sloan Wilson which brought together over 20 leaders of diverse fields, whose research focused on culture and its evolution. The attendees of this workshop discussed the importance of breaking down disciplinary silos in cultural science, and the merits of a new interdisciplinary society that could foster new methods and theory in cultural evolution, and could translate these insights into policy- ready solutions. Gelfand has helped to develop and grow the Cultural Evolution Society since this workshop, having served on the board, and is excited to help lead this society through its early growth. If elected member-at-large, Gelfand would translate her previous leadership experience as past-president of the International Association for Conflict Management, Past Division Chair for the Conflict Division of the Academy of Management, and Past Treasurer of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology to help develop this truly unique society. She would help to organize innovative interdisciplinary conferences and panels and would advocate for new funding opportunities targeted at interdisciplinary cultural evolution scholarship. She would also use her network of international collaborators to help broaden the geographic boundaries of the Cultural Evolution Society, in order to make it a truly global and equal-opportunity endeavor.
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  19. 19. Russell Gray Member-at-Large Position 5 — Male from Open Regions My research spans the areas of cultural evolution, linguistics, animal cognition, and the philosophy of biology. I have helped pioneer the application of computational evolutionary methods to questions about linguistic prehistory and cultural evolution. This work has shed new insights on the 200 year-old debate on the origin of Indo-European languages, dubbed by Diamond and Bellwood as “the most intensively studied, yet still most recalcitrant problem in historical linguistics”. In collaboration with colleagues in Europe I have extended this evolutionary approach to test hypotheses about the roles of culture and cognition in constraining linguistic variation. In contrast to the claims of some generative linguists, the analyses revealed striking language family specific dependencies. However, the work that I am most proud of focuses on questions about the history of languages, cultures and people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Simon Greenhill and I developed a large lexical database for the languages of this region. We then analysed this data using Bayesian phylogenetic methods to test hypotheses about the sequence and timing of the peopling of the Pacific. This linguistic work set the stage for my recent research applying ecological and evolutionary methods to questions about the cultural evolution of religion and the development of large-scale stratified societies both in the Pacific and around the globe. My colleagues and I have found that notions of god vary with ecology, that moralising gods promote the development of social complexity, and in a darker vein, that ritual human sacrifice promotes and sustains the evolution of stratified societies. I am sometimes asked if I know the other Russell Gray who works on New Caledonian crows. I normally reply that actually, “I am Russell Crow.” My colleagues and I have found that the remarkable tool manufacturing traditions of these birds are the product of a lengthy period of socially scaffolded learning, and are underpinned by brains with large associative regions and the ability to make certain kinds of causal inference. I have published over 100 journal articles and book chapters including nine papers in Nature and Science. I am the Director of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History In Jena, and hold adjunct positions in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and the Department of Philosophy at the Australian National University. I am absolutely delighted by the formation of the Cultural Evolution Society and keen to support it in whatever way I can. As a student of cultural diversity I am pleased to see that it has already embraced the need for diversity in disciplines, gender, career stages, and geographic representation. If elected to the Executive Committee I would encourage a similar recognition of the need for the society to embrace a diversity of theoretical viewpoints, rather than being a vehicle for any particular agenda or philosophy (including my own). I would love to see the Society’s meetings become a vibrant showcase of the breadth of research on cultural evolution, and a place where there will be time for a discussion of the critical issues that is passionate, rigorous and respectful. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "19
  20. 20. Andrew Whiten Member-at-Large Position 5 — Male from Open Regions I am Wardlaw Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology at the University of St Andrews. I have studied social learning, traditions and culture, particularly in human and non- human primates, for a quarter-century now, starting with the Whiten and Ham review (1992) of the ‘nature and evolution of imitation’. During the present century I and my research associates have published over 120 articles on these subjects, and edited the Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B Theme issue (2011) and OUP book (2012) “Culture Evolves”. I have focused on both ontogenetic and evolutionary facets of social learning and culture, and their interwinement. Research on the first of these threads has been pursued by studies of children and other developing primates. The evolutionary thread has been pursued principally through comparative studies of primates, including observational and experimental studies with wild and captive monkeys and apes including marmosets, capuchins, vervet monkeys, orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees, as well human children and adults. I have favored the development of complementary approaches including large scale surveys in the wild (e.g. ‘chimpanzee cultures’) and experimental studies, extending to cultural diffusion analyses. Vision for the Society I strongly support the further development of the interdisciplinary approaches to cultural evolution that have taken the field so far already, ranging over the life and cognitive sciences, biological and cultural anthropology, archaeology, philosophy and related endeavors. I think a substantial comparative thread would be healthy in the Society, addressing social learning, traditions and elements of culture in non-human animals – and I appear to be one of the few candidates for election who could seriously cover this. Humans are not the only species to display these key phenomena! This and other aspects of diversity are good for our field, extending to numerous different methodologies that can complement each other. However, I think it’s most important that for collaborations in such things as meetings and publications, we maintain high standards of scientific rigor. Where there is scientific debate, dialogue is to be encouraged. In support of that I would hope (and expect!) we shall manage to establish an annual or biennial international conference and encourage widespread public engagement with our progress and discoveries. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "20
  21. 21. Monique Borgerhoff Mulder Member-at-Large Position 6 — Female from Open Regions I am a human behavioural ecologist with strong interest in the cultural evolutionary processes insofar as these intersect with my research foci in demography, human health, natural resource management, and economic development. I study reproduction and marriage systems (Brown, Laland & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2009 Tr. Ecol. Evol.), cooperation and social networks (Kasper & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2015 Curr. Ant.), common pool resource management (Brooks, Waylen & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2012 PNAS), cultural practices pertaining to health (Ross et al., 2016 Hum. Nat.) and marriage (Lawson et al., 2015 PNAS), and the intergenerational transmission of inequality (Borgerhoff Mulder et al., 2009 Science). I have active field sites in Tanzania, work intensively in NGOs dedicated to conservation and development, and am initiating a new project at the intersections of cultural multilevel selection, REDD+ and the global carbon market. Cultural evolution is poised to bridge multiple disciplinary approaches to understanding human diversity. I would be delighted to stand in the inaugural elections for the Cultural Evolution Society as a Member at Large. My goal would be to help guide the society into an area where theory, modeling, fieldwork and data analysis are well integrated in the identification of cultural evolutionary processes, ensuring both a strong emphasis on fieldwork across diverse contexts and a focus on rigorous comparative work. I would also strive to facilitate the society’s goal to maintain genuine international representation. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "21
  22. 22. Quentin Atkinson Member-at-Large Position 7 — Male from Open Regions My research draws on tools from molecular systematics, population genetics, epidemiology, ecology and experimental economics to shed light on human cultural diversity in domains as varied as language, religion and resource management. This work spans three related areas: 1) the creation of large cross-cultural databases for quantitative analysis; 2) the development of stochastic models of cultural evolution and 3) field work in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. I have used these tools to answer questions as diverse as the causes of deforestation in the Pacific, the role of religion in complex societies, the tempo of language change and the origin of the Indo- European languages,  I see cultural evolution as fundamental to understanding the most interesting aspects of human behaviour. The Cultural Evolution Society is fundamentally about promoting the science of cultural evolution. To achieve this, I would like to see us focus on 1) using digital media to grow membership across the academy - we can find scholars working on cultural evolution from physics to film studies and we want these people to find us; 2) establishing a thriving network of scholars united by the common language of evolution and where ideas can spread - we are cultural evolutionists, so we should be able to achieve this; 3) identifying and supporting research on cultural evolution that is relevant to key challenges facing humanity today and, in so doing, raising the profile of evolutionary approaches to culture among the public and policy-makers. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "22
  23. 23. Rob Boyd Member-at-Large Position 7 — Male from Open Regions Relevance to cultural evolution Most of my research focuses on incorporating cultural transmission into the Darwinian theory of evolution, and using the modified theory to understand why humans are such peculiar creatures. Unlike other organisms, humans acquire a rich body of information from others by teaching, imitation, and other forms of social learning, and this culturally transmitted material allows human populations to evolve high quality adaptations to particular environments, adaptations that are beyond the learning abilities of individuals. My research is focused on the evolutionary psychology of the mechanisms that shape human culture, and how these mechanisms interact with population dynamic processes to shape human cultural variation. I have done almost all of this work in collaboration with Peter J. Richerson. This work is set out in two books, Culture and the Evolutionary Process and Not by Genes Alone, and in a number of papers, many are collected in a volume entitled The Origin and Evolution of Cultures.   My vision for the Society I believe that the society should be a venue for inclusive, interdisciplinary research on the evolution of human behavior.  This means we need to develop a culture in which a wide range of expertise is valued.  This should include the usual suspects: evolutionary psychology, human behavioral ecology, and cultural evolution. However, much research on evolution and human behavior is ahistorical, as if biologists studied adaptation without consulting paleontologists.  The new society should actively reach out to historical disciplines like history, archaeology, paleoanthropology.  There are also important research traditions within economics and political science focused game theory and the evolution of norms that provide theoretical depth beyond what we see in behavioral ecology, and are highly relevant to understanding human sociality. What we need to avoid is a narrow society in which "cultural evolution" scholars only talk to each other in a comfortable setting where everybody agrees about what is important.  Understanding how humans evolved is a huge but difficult question, and we should challenge ourselves with the best thinkers and the best research across a wide range of disciplines. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "23
  24. 24. Laurel Fogarty Member-at-Large Position 8 — Female from Open Regions How your research relates to the field of Cultural Evolution I work on the theoretical foundations of cultural evolution and how interpretation of that theory can be used to further our understanding of human evolution and complex social phenomena. My work uses agent-based simulation approaches as well as analytical approaches based on established population genetic models to examine cross-cultural patterns of cultural accumulation and cultural loss, and our creative cultural responses to changing environments. I am also interested in the ways in which the cultural transmission of ideas and traits affects important issues of social policy. For example I have worked on the implications of the cultural preference for sons over daughters in China for social policy surrounding fertility and social security. This work combined demographic matrix modeling, models of horizontal, vertical, and oblique cultural transmission, and Chinese survey and census data. Finally, I aim to understand the ways in which cultural traits might interact with genetic traits, and with one another, using models of cultural niche construction and gene-culture coevolution. In particular, I work on models that investigate the links between subsistence strategy (for example small-scale agriculture or hunting and foraging) and cultural evolutionary dynamics – for example the rate of spread of cultural traits or the relative importance of vertical and oblique learning in each case. Your vision for the Society that you will pursue if elected. I hope to see an open and inclusive society for cultural evolution that can support and connect researchers in the field as it grows. Such a society has the potential to encourage respectful and stimulating debate on the future directions of cultural evolution research and will be uniquely placed to facilitate interaction and knowledge sharing between researchers from the vast diversity of disciplines currently contributing to the scientific study of culture. This society represents a momentous and enriching step forward for cultural evolution research and researchers. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "24
  25. 25. Michelle Kline Member-at-Large Position 8 — Female from Open Regions Humans display extraordinary behavioral diversity in adapting to, and altering, all of the ecosystems on earth. Understanding this diversity requires understanding human capacities for cumulative cultural evolution. As a Postdoctoral Researcher at Arizona State University, I take a broad comparative approach to the evolution and development of human cultural capacities, including learning and teaching mechanisms, and the social contextual determinants of innovation. This comparative approach is inherently interdisciplinary, and both thrives on and expands the interdisciplinary foundations of cultural evolutionary theory. I deploy diverse methods to study variation within and between populations. Since 2008 I have studied teaching and social learning in rural villages in the Fijian Islands. I have published a novel theoretical framework on the evolution of teaching in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and empirical studies of patterns of variation in teaching and learning behavior in Human Nature, and Field Methods. In addition, I have published on the effects of population size and connectedness on cultural macroevolution (Proceedings B.); on cooperation in small groups (Proceedings B; Evolution & Human Behavior; PLoS ONE); and on applying cultural evolutionary theory to problems in sustainable ecological systems (Ecology & Society). Across all of my research, I take an empirical approach to testing the novel implications of cultural evolutionary theory, with an eye towards application to the hard problems facing human societies. Vision for the society: The interdisciplinary nature of cultural evolutionary theory is one of its greatest strengths as a theoretical and empirical approach to human behavior and evolution. The far-reaching implications of cultural evolutionary theory mean that it may find application across the full range of human intellectual and practical endeavors. Pushing the field forward will require continued synthetic contributions from many different disciplines, and from a diversity of viewpoints. My vision for the Cultural Evolutionary Society is that it will become a hub of research activity: inviting scholars from the social and natural sciences to learn about and incorporate cultural evolutionary theory into their work, while facilitating collaborations on the basis of research problems rather than disciplinary divides. I am hopeful that the new Cultural Evolutionary Society will continue to prioritize inclusion— of researchers from all disciplines, genders, races, ethnicities, and global regions. It is this very diversity of human experience and behavior that motivates cultural evolutionary theory, and so it is essential to the mission of the Society that our leadership and membership continue to be inclusive. We cannot each master the whole of human history and of the human sciences, but as a community of researchers brought together by the new Cultural Evolutionary Society, we can advance our understanding of the human condition through community, collaboration, and science communication. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "25
  26. 26. Joshua Conrad Jackson Male Student Representative Candidate Joshua Conrad Jackson is an incoming doctoral student and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He graduated from McGill University with first class honors in 2013, and subsequently worked as a researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand until 2014. He currently holds a faculty research assistant position at the University of Maryland, where he works under Dr. Michele Gelfand. Josh’s research interests are broad, but often take an evolutionary approach to studying the emergence of phenomena related to culture, religion, and morality. In previous empirical papers, Josh has explored the dynamics of incipient human groups, the motivational and cognitive origins of religious belief, and the psychological mechanisms behind religious homophily. He has also authored reviews and theory papers on cultural psychology, including a recent Current Opinions in Psychology paper on cultural norms and an upcoming chapter in the Annual Review of Psychology on revenge. Josh has been trained as an experimental psychologist, but conducts interdisciplinary research. He collaborates with anthropologists, computer scientists, and philosophers, and uses computational and ethnographic methods to compliment behavioral and neuroscience experimentation. He also values the importance of policy-relevant research, and has applied his theory-driven insights to reduce intercultural hostility in the Middle East, and—in an editorial published in American Scientist—to deconstruct the current American election cycle. Outside of research, Josh works as a core member of the non-profit organization Useful Science, which focuses on parsing and communicating brief, peer-reviewed summaries of scientific papers to large audiences (over 1,000,000 yearly visits). For the past year, Josh has co-hosted Useful Science’s podcast (with a listener base of over 12,000), where popular summaries are discussed in depth. Goals if Elected As student representative, Josh would focus on society-wide growth as well as student advocacy. Cultural evolution scholarship holds immense promise because of its ability to synthesize interdisciplinary literature while speaking to real systemic problems involving human rights and equal opportunity. To accomplish these goals, though, the society must engage with scholars across disciplines, and maximize the public visibility of high quality research. • To synthesize scholarship, Josh would organize themed student-led symposia at CES meetings featuring contributors from diverse fields. He would also work to create funding sources that explicitly encourage interdisciplinary research, and organize workshops where students could learn innovative research tools that are seldom used in their fields. Josh is especially qualified to create these workshops, given his pioneering efforts to apply image- based tracking and agent-based modeling to cultural evolution. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "26
  27. 27. • To maximize visibility of cultural evolution research, Josh would help create an accessible and informative online home for the Cultural Evolution Society. In particular, he would set up a monthly blog where students of cultural evolution could accessibly share their research with a broader audience. He would also create and host a twitter account for the society in an effort to gain and maintain the same visibility that he has helped foster within Useful Science. In addition to these two major goals, Josh hopes to engage diverse student voices within the society, and foster an environment of collaboration and camaraderie for student-members. He will build this community in part through an online Q&A forum where students can solicit advice from peers within the society. He also hopes to broaden the current diversity of cultural evolution scholarship through travel grants available to outstanding students who cannot afford to attend conferences or workshops. Ian MacDonald Male Student Representative Candidate My research and connections to the field of Cultural Evolution: At the moment my (dissertation) research focuses on factors influencing individual well-being and community functioning within the North American Intentional Community (IC) movement. Intentional communities, as the name implies, represent a conscious effort to organise the social lives of members in a more cooperative and communitarian manner, relative to the mainstream. As such, these groups offer a meaningful sub-culture in which to explore fundamental questions concerning human nature, cooperation, and the consequences of "life in community", all in a modern context. Vision for the CES: I share the common goal of making the CES a premiere scientific society. To this effect, and in addition to enabling cutting-edge research within our field, I feel the CES should consistently strive to practice what we preach and dissolve the traditional boundaries between "science" and "real life". In practice, this means a readiness and commitment to turning the scientific lens upon the society itself (we've done well so far!) and for tackling real-world problems at all scales, from local to planet-wide. Taken together, these aspects should go a long way in demonstrating the utility of our perspective to the general public and extended scientific community. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "27
  28. 28. Jessica Borushok Female Student Representative Candidate I am currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University in the behavioral medicine track. My research examines healthy living (physical activity, weight loss, stress reduction/wellbeing) in a variety of populations (overweight/obese, sedentary workers, students). Studying health behavior change and prevention has increased my interest in the field of Cultural Evolution because it is not enough to eat healthy and workout regularly if we exist in an environment and culture that undermines and punishes these behaviors. While research on individuals can be impactful for those involved, in order to enact widespread change in health and wellbeing it is necessary to understand the context in which these behaviors occur, and why and how they have developed and sustained at a community or global scale. My goal as a researcher is to work across disciplines (psychology, sociology, education, urban planning, law/policy, biology, etc.) to answer these questions and use that information to create public policy informed by evolutionary theory with the hope of not only producing innovative research, but also making meaningful changes in our society. I am excited about the opportunities available to the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) as I believe that we can only see the full scope of an issue if we work from multiple perspectives to create a cohesive, integrated picture. As a new society, I believe my prior experience as Student Representative for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science will be beneficial in the early stages of the CES’s development. Having already served on a board of a multidisciplinary organization, I have experience with the process of creating and reforming bylaws, election procedures, and addressing issues that arise as the organization continues to grow and adapt. As a student, I understand the unique challenges that students face trying to balance learning from others and wanting to become more involved and develop as leaders – I hope to help the society create an environment that is welcoming and nurturing to students as the next generation of scientists while learning from and collaborating with those already prominent in their field. My vision for the society is a community filled with a diverse array of people passionate about the future of cultural evolution and the opportunity to come together to address the Grand Challenges inside and outside of the “Ivory Tower.” I believe serving as Student Representative is my opportunity to work towards that and to build an environment within our society that fosters this vision. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "28
  29. 29. Nicole Wen Female Student Representative Candidate My Research: I study cognitive and social development from an interdisciplinary perspective using a variety of methods to examine how children learn across cultures. I have explored how children flexibly use imitation and innovation for cultural learning and how this is socialized in both the U.S. and Vanuatu. I am also interested in how rituals facilitate social group cohesion and identity formation. I propose that humans are psychologically prepared to engage in ritual as a means of in-group affiliation. I study the capacity to learn, create, and transmit culture in order to increase our understanding of the cognitive and cultural evolution of our species. My Vision for CES: If elected as a student representative of the CES, I would pursue interdisciplinarity and deep diversity by targeting a membership composed of individuals from a variety of disciplines. I hope to encourage the involvement of students and early career scientists. These would contribute to the goal of broadening the intellectual scope of the society. I believe that my experience as a Vice President (and a President-elect) of my department’s Psychology Graduate Student Association, in combination with my interdisciplinary research/academic background will help me effectively lead as a student representative during this critical period when the CES is establishing a solid foundation for the society’s future. Cultural Evolution Society - 2016 Voter’s Manual "29

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