Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

US EPA’s EnviroAtlas project promises to give researchers, students new insights into the geography of ecosystem services

Posted 13 Aug 2013 / 0

At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, I first learned about a really interesting initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project –now dubbed EnviroAtlas — is dedicated to creating a free, interactive online tool for exploring the geography of ecosystem services. I had the opportunity to check out a beta version Read More

A Major Post, Biodiversity Loss, Biomes, Bogs & Wetlands, Climate Change, Computer Science, Conservation Biology, Deserts, Ecology, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Services, Educational Software and Apps, Environmental Justice, Freshwater Ecosystems, Geography, Grasslands, Habitat Destruction, Information Design, Invasive Species, Pollution, Ponds & Lakes, Population Pressure, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Rivers & Streams, Sociology, Sustainability, Teaching, Teaching Tools, Temperate Forest, Temperate Rainforest, Terrestrial, Tropical Forest, Water Supply, Web

The benefits of a maintaining a relatively small in-group

Posted 29 May 2013 / 1

WNYC Micropolis “Hasidic Supermarkets and the Virtues of Insularity” Although I think that this is an interesting little feature, it mistakenly attributes the benefits of this trust to a lack of diversity. What allows this trust is a relatively small, highly-integrated society. If the larger city lacks anything, it is the level of social integration Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Economics, Ethics, Radio & Podcasts, Reputation, Social Networks, Sociology

NPR provides a quick overview of the human drive to reciprocate

Posted 26 Nov 2012 / 0

National Public Radio Shots “Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us” I appreciate the far-ranging nature of this piece, and how it applies a basic understanding of reciprocity to larger social phenomena. There is not much here about how genetic and environmental factors modify how reciprocal people choose to behave; while there Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Emotion, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms, Sociology

Chronicle of Higher Education feature explores the question of why more women do not succeed in science

Posted 29 Oct 2012 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “More Gender Diversity Will Mean Better Science” The Chronicle of Higher Education “Why STEM Fields Still Don’t Draw More Women” The Chronicle of Higher Education “Is Biology Just Another Pink-Collar Profession?” The Chronicle of Higher Education “Does This Lab Coat Make Me Look Fat?” One of the most fascinating threads that runs through Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biology (general), Ethics, Neuroscience, Public Policy, Science (General), Science as a career, Sociology

New PNAS special issue explores the developmental effects of early social environment

Posted 17 Oct 2012 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity: From Fruit Flies to Kindergartners Sackler Colloquium“

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Development, Gene by Environment Interactions, Phenotypic Plasticity, Psychology, Sociology

Matthew Zimmerman on how international relations views the evolution of groups

Posted 07 Jul 2012 / 0

Social Evolution Forum “Matthew Zimmerman: Groups as the Most Natural and Useful Level of Analysis (a comment on Pinker)” I am not sure which frustrates me more: The contention that genes are the only “target” of selection; or The contention that selection on organisms is the only level at which selection occurs; or The contention Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Cooperation, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Multilevel Selection, Political Science, Sociology

Hurricane Irene evacuation naysayers point out some fundamental human problems with understanding risk

Posted 29 Aug 2011 / 0

A downed tree in East River Park in Manhattan’s East Village after Hurricane Irene. Photo and caption text by David Shankbone. The east coast of the United States woke up this Monday morning to begin cleanup following the passing of Hurricane Irene. In preparation for the hurricane, over half a million New York and New Read More

Belief, Climate Change, Ethics, Political Science, Prediction, Sociology, Stochasticity

How the right wing co-opts research into the evolution of cooperation

Posted 20 Aug 2011 / 2

One of the ways that I keep up with my field these days (inasmuch as that is even possible given the pace of innovation and activity) is by using Google Alerts. For those of you who are not familiar with the service, it allows you to receive updates via e-mail every time that a new Read More

Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Political Science, Punishment, Reciprocity, Sociology, Web

Mexican Culture and Collective Action

Posted 22 Jun 2011 / 0

Today there was an interesting feature on the Leonard Lopate show highlighting former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castañeda and his new book Manana forever? Mexico and the Mexicans. The central thesis of the book is that Mexicans are a very individualist people, and that the failure of Mexican culture to foster collective action explains much Read More

Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Radio & Podcasts, Sociology

Easy-IPD version 1.0 released!

Posted 27 May 2011 / 3

After a full semester of development, including a round of in-classroom testing with real live Pratt undergraduates, I am proud to announce the release of the Easy Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (Easy-IPD) interface, a free web-based teaching tool that allows students to experiment with this influential model of behavior. You can check out a slideshow of Read More

Cooperation, Easy Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, Economics, Evolution Education, Game Theory, Lesson Ideas, Political Science, Reciprocity, Sociology, Teaching Tools