Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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

My article on adolescence featured in the This View of Life culture series

Posted 29 Aug 2016 / 0

I am very excited to have an article that I wrote on the adaptive nature of adolescent behavior featured in a new culture series in the This View of Life (TVoL) online magazine. My piece, entitled “Adolescent behavior doesn’t make sense (except in the light of cultural evolution)” summarizes an argument that has been rolling around in Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Development, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Mismatch theory, My publications, Neuroscience, Psychological Adaptation, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction, Sexual Competition, Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Web

Pratt students make the potential trip to Mars better designed

Posted 24 Jun 2016 / 0

Mars landscape image courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory via Wikimedia Commons Scientific American “Home Sweet Habitat: Students Help NASA Design Mars Spacecraft Living Quarters” Anyone who has regularly read my posts on the subject knows that I am a space exploration grump, particularly regarding the idea that humans ought to try to venture out Read More

A Minor Post, Architecture, Evolutionary Psychology, Human limits, Industrial Design, Mismatch theory, Pratt Institute, Psychology, Space Travel, Web

A potentially interesting Evolution of Play documentary

Posted 27 May 2016 / 0

This looks like a potentially-interesting documentary that might address some issues related to the evolution of play behavior. It is interesting that balls — in particular those that bounce — play such a large role in our play behaviors. What’s too bad is that this trailer is entirely inscrutable as far as what the movie is Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, Play

Predicting Future Evolution (Spring 2016)

Posted 10 May 2016 / 0

One of the activities that I regularly have my students complete in my Evolution course is called “Future Evolution“. The activity sends students on what most evolutionary biologists consider a fool’s errand: to try to predict the future evolution of some particular trait in some particular species. Making such predictions is really difficult for these basic reasons: Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Animal Domestication, Anthropogenic Change, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Evolution Education, Human Evolution, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-260, Evolution, Prediction, Resistance Evolution in Parasites

You can check out my first Breeders, Propagators, & Creators talk (at St. Francis College) on YouTube

Posted 18 Apr 2016 / 0

This has been up on St. Francis College’s YouTube page for awhile, but I was just made aware of its existence. The audio’s a bit weak, but it gives you can mostly tell what I am saying!

A Minor Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, My publications, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction

Soon-to-be released Evolution and Human Culture book to feature my testimonial

Posted 14 Apr 2016 / 0

I was greatly honored when my friend and colleague Gregory Tague asked me to write a testimonial for his book Evolution and Human Culture. Now that the book is on the verge of being released, I am very excited that my testimonial will appear on the back of the book. For decades I have relied on these Read More

A Major Post, Evolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness

It’s good to remember how fast things change, culturally & biologically

Posted 11 Apr 2016 / 0

The Pratt Institute Chemistry, Machinery, and Engineering buildings in 1950 (image courtesy of Pratt@125) A colleague of mine (Daniel Wright) sent around this image from Pratt Institute’s 125th Anniversary photo time line collection. It’s a pretty amazing testament to how quickly things can change in a culturally-evolving environment. These buildings still stand at Pratt: in Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Architecture, Climate Change, Cultural Evolution, Pratt Institute, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability, Sustainable Pratt, Sustainable Urban Design

What can be made by mimicking biological “assemblies”?

Posted 09 Apr 2016 / 0

A student in my Ecology for Architects course sent me the link to this TED Talk by Neri Oxman about some of her projects at the intersection of design and biology. I think that my student meant for me to watch it, and perhaps might have been interested in my thoughts, but the talk struck such a Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Architecture, Closed Loop Systems, Fashion, Film, Television, & Video, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability

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