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University of Edinburgh Announces 2018 Gifford Lectures

Event Date: 
Monday, February 26, 2018 - 05:30 to Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 06:30
Playfair Library Hall, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh

Professor Dr Agustin Fuentes will present this academic year’s Gifford Lecture Series, on the following dates: February 26 and 27, and March 1, 5, 6, and 8, 2018, 5:30–6:30pm

Agustin Fuentes is the Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C. Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. His research delves into the how and why of being human. Ranging from chasing monkeys in jungles and cities, to exploring the lives of our evolutionary ancestors, to examining what people actually do across the globe, Professor Fuentes is interested in both the big questions and the small details of what makes humans and our closest relatives tick. The title of his lecture series is ‘Why We Believe: Evolution, Making Meaning, and the Development of Human Natures’. There will be a drinks reception after the last night of the lecture series (Thursday 08 March 2018) in the Playfair Library Hall.

Tickets for this event are free but must be reserved in advance at

Lecture Information

Humans can see the world around them, imagine how it might be different, and translate those imaginings into reality ... or at least try to. Humans believe. Meaning, imagination, and hope are as central to the human story as are bones, genes, and ecologies. Neither selfish aggression nor peaceful altruism dominates human behavior as a whole. We are a species distinguished by our extraordinary capacity for creative cooperation, our ability to imagine possibilities and to make them material, and our powerful aptitudes for belief, hope, and cruelty.