Welcome!

There will be a two-day interdisciplinary conference at the University of Birmingham, UK, on the 25th and 26th of May 2017 on the topic:

“Innovation in cultural systems – an interdisciplinary meeting”

sponsored by the ASAB Interdicsiplinary Workshop grant and the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham.

Innovation plays a critical role in the emergence and spread of new behaviours within both non-human and human culture. Despite this, research on innovation in humans and non-humans and its role for cultural evolution  has just started to become a focus of research. To date, there is still no agreed upon definition of innovation. We aim to ask and answer crucial questions such as:

  • How can innovation be defined?
  • What is the role of innovation for cultural evolution and cumulative culture?
  • What do we know about processes of innovation?
  • What makes an ‘innovator’?

Now is the time to bring researchers with different academic backgrounds together to discuss recent theories, data, and ideas on innovation. As more work is being carried out on the different aspects of innovation, it is critical to have an interdisciplinary forum for researchers to exchange ideas and gain perspectives outside their field, and to ensure that, going forward, research on innovation is not confined solely to one discipline.

Since research on innovation is being carried out in parallel across archaeology and anthropology, psychology, biology, animal behaviour and philosophy, we believe that researchers from all these fields will benefit from attending and presenting at this conference.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you in May!

Elisa and Eva