Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

NPR features Christopher Boehm on the love-hate relationship we have people in power

Posted 16 Jan 2017 / 0

This morning NPR dropped a truly eerie and not-so-subtly cautionary piece on how an understanding of chimpanzee behavior towards dominant individuals can shed light on how we regard both celebrities and our political leaders. Using some nice audio from anthropologist Christopher Boehm, the piece establishes that we humans are not alone in our love-hate relationship with Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Primatology, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Social Norms

What “rolling coal” has to say about the cultural state of sustainability efforts

Posted 05 Dec 2016 / 0

Image of a Ford F-150 “rolling coal” courtesy of Salvatore Arnone via Wikimedia Commons. In a recent meeting of my Ecology course dedicated to sustainable policies, we were discussing why people don’t choose to adopt sustainable technologies. I think that the question was asked under the assumption that people want to be more sustainable, but face financial Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Climate Change, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Economic sustainability, Economics, Environmental Justice, Memetic Fitness, Pollution, Public Policy, Punishment, Social Dilemmas, Social Diversity, Social Norms, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation, System Stability

Wars on climate change versus revolutions to address climate change

Posted 31 Oct 2016 / 0

The New York Times “We Don’t Need a ‘War’ on Climate Change, We Need a Revolution” I am excited about this opinion piece by my friend and colleague Eric S. Godoy. He and his co-author Aaron Jaffe are absolutely right: as much as we might “fight” to “capture” the right metaphor for the “battle” against climate Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Climate Change, Cooperation, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Philosophy, Public Outreach, Public Policy, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Social Dilemmas

Arming the Donkeys on kids, parenting, and Burning Man

Posted 12 Sep 2016 / 0

Whenever I have a really mind-numbing task that I need to do, I turn to podcasts to save me from the tedium. One of my favorite respites is Dan Ariely‘s Arming the Donkeys podcast. Today I checked out a couple of great episodes for the parents out there. Just released a few days ago is an Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Development, Empathy, Game Theory, Human Evolution, Play, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reputation, Social Norms

FDA investigators raid American Society of Human Genetics offices in Carl Zimmer cloning case

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 4

Investigators from the United States Food and Drug Administration raided the offices of the American Society of Human Genetics this week. The unusual raid was the culmination of what has been a three-year investigation of science journalist Carl Zimmer, who is now being accused of cloning himself in order to increase his writing output. “We Read More

A Major Post, Cognitive Ability, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Epigenetics, Ethics, Genetics, Intelligences, Memetic Fitness, Neuroscience, Scientific Fraud

America Society of Primatologists condemns H. A. and Margret Rey, calls for Curious George boycott

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 0

Curious George and his cooperative partner The Man in the Yellow Hat are widely loved by naive children In a scathing press release disseminated today, the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) condemned the work of the children’s author/artist duo Margret and H.A. Rey on their famous Curious George series. At issue are the frequent allusions to George Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Behavior, Cooperation, Empathy, Evolution, Fluidity of Knowledge, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Phylogenetics, Primates, Primatology, Professional Societies, Reciprocity

Great conversation at my Columbia University Population Biology Seminar talk

Posted 14 Mar 2016 / 0

It was a great honor to speak on this past Monday, March 7th, 2016 as part of Columbia University’s Population Biology seminar series. I gave a talk entitled “Breeders, Propagators, & Creators: Culture, Biology, and the Future of Human Evolution” to a small group of biology faculty and students from a nice diversity of different Read More

A Major Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Kin Selection, Parenting, Population Pressure, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction

Dan Ariely’s “Arming the Donkeys” podcast

Posted 15 Feb 2016 / 0

Today I have had to work on a really tedious, mindless task for hours on end, so I have tried to take advantage of this time by catching up on some podcasts. I am a big fan of Dan Ariely, both of his science and his efforts to make that science accessible to the public, Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Cognitive Bias, Communication, Ethics, Human Uniqueness, Partner Choice, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Norms

Food is personal, sometimes ethical, but rarely political

Posted 15 Jan 2016 / 0

Image courtesy of Nick Gray via Wikimedia Commons The Chronicle of Higher Education “The Vegetarian Lesson” This article by Chad Lavin neatly distills ideas and issues that I have been grappling with for more than half my life. As a current-day ecologist who was a vegetarian more than a decade before I took my first ecology course, Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Cooperation, Food, Parasitism, Political Science, Predation, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Uncategorized

Understanding [culture + multilevel selection] = potential for Sustainability

Posted 13 Jan 2016 / 0

People’s Climate Change March photo courtesy of South Bend Voice via Wikimedia Commons There’s a really important new paper out entitled “A multilevel evolutionary framework for sustainability analysis“, due to be published in the journal Ecology and Society. Although it is not yet published, you can check out a pre-print via Michelle Kline’s site. (UPDATE: Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Cultural Evolution, Multilevel Selection, Social Norms, Sustainability