An ad hoc steering committee initiated steps to form the Cultural Evolution Society (CES) in the summer of 2015. As part of the inaugural proceedings, a survey of CES members was conducted to identify a suite of "grand challenge" problems of broad scientific and social interest that can drive cutting-edge research and practice within the field of cultural evolutionary studies for future decades.
Over the course of several weeks, a total of 236 CES members from around the world completed an online questionnaire in which they could nominate up to ten such challenges, providing a brief description and rationale for each. Additionally, CES members were also asked to indicate their level of understanding and mode of training in core domains (cultural studies and evolutionary theory), how they see their current work fitting into the wider world of cultural evolutionary studies, and how they see themselves contributing to the grand challenges facing the society.
The responses to the initial grand challenges survey are summarized below.